Lost In Austen (ITV1, 2008)
You might have noticed on this blog if you are a regular that I have reviewed very few drama series, this is because it’s not a genre that I am hugely interested in. I have looked back at some comedy-dramas, but not much beyond that really. This is a drama series, but it does have a fantasy twist, and I was attracted to this for a few reasons.
Firstly, the main character was played by Jemima Rooper, who used to be in As If, a series that I had enjoyed some years earlier. I know that this was going to be something rather different, but I was simply pleased that the cast were still receiving TV work. This show also appeared on the cover of Radio Times (and I do still find it odd when ITV shows appear on the cover).
And when I saw one critic say that the idea was a little similar to the sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart, then that had convinced me that this probably was something that it was worth trying. Have you ever had the feeling when reading a book, of what it would be like if you actually found yourself in the world portrayed in the book, with the various characters all gathered around you?
Amanda (played by Rooper) is someone who likes to read the novel Pride And Prejudice (by Jane Austen). She has become disillusioned with her life in London, and reads this whilst thinking about her next move. One day there is a portal that appears in her bathroom out of nowhere, how odd, and she couldn’t believe it, to put it mildly.
As she then goes back in time over two centuries, it’s fair to say that there is a clash of eras, and now being able to interact directly with the likes of Mrs Bennet, her life becomes rather interesting. Will Amanda take the opportunity to rewrite the story, and maybe history all together? These are among the difficult decisions that she now has to make.
There were four episodes of Lost In Austen in one series, and this seemed to be rather well received by critics, who were somewhat surprised that such a classy and creative drama could ever had appeared on ITV, but it did, and Rooper was as great as expected. Extras on the DVD release include a look behind the scenes, and some interviews with the cast.