Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

JS&MN ep 1, "The Friends of English Magic"

Super-quick reactions before one kid or another wakes up, without doing a lot of book-checking or sleeping on it (a refined, overall version will come to Tor.com at the end of the story). Basically I liked it.

I watched the first 20 min. or so of the version aired in Britain and there is at least one small cut in the BBC America version (walking to Norrell's library). I'll have to watch to see if there's more. (But I'm not sorry to watch for the first time on TV, because big screen, though commercials are terrible. Well, rewatch for details will be the British versions.)

Mr Segundus buys a spell to join things together from Vinculus! Talk about your long-game setup.

Not as blue as I feared from the trailer.

Childermass is amazing. "Well done" indeed.

Before I really got into it, I noticed a lot of kind of peering/from-the-edges camera shots: keyhole into Segundus' rooms, what looked like a spyhole or fuzzy-edged window into the Society's meeting, the edge of the room across Miss Wintertowne's body.

A bit of fatphobia? I don't remember if Dr Foxcastle is described in the book, but Drawlight is supposed to be small and rather feminine.

Making the news of Miss Wintertowne's death be the thing that makes Norrell fall in with Drawlight is maybe even more convincing than the book.

The Fearfulness/Arrogance is from a fairy woman late in the book.

Overall: this draws from all of Vol. I by advancing Jonathan doing that spell this far up—which makes perfect sense, I'm fine with that. But I think, scanning down chapter titles, the main thing left in Vol. I is the bad effect of the gentleman's spell and presence (eta: by which I mean his glomming onto Stephen as well as the half-life of Arabella), and Norrell doing a little bit for the war effort: otherwise, resurrection, check; prophecy, check; card reading, check; Jonathan taking up magic, check. I honestly felt a little breathless about it, though I've seen people say the first episode was slow.

I liked the magic! I might've been predisposed, but I didn't find it wizard-fu-ish or corny. Mr Segundus is a dear, he's my favorite minor character, and he was great. I thought Norrell and Strange both had a good start, character-wise, and Arabella is good too. Again, not having slept on it, I'm pretty excited.

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Tags: tv: jonathan strange & mr norrell

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