To quote a comment I read online, Lost in Austen, Episode Four was both brilliant and bonkers. And its 46 minutes sped by at turbo speed. In fact the episode felt so rushed that I knew after Amanda and Mr. Darcy stepped into modern London that there would not be enough time left for more than a summary wrap up, which is precisely what happened.
Jane and Bingley reunite, Mrs. Bennet acquires a backbone (and Mr. Bennet’s admiration), Lizzy gets her wish (with her father’s blessing), Amanda finds her true love, and … Charlotte remains lost in African limbo, we see Caroline Bingley flirting with George Wickham before riding off in a carriage, and Lydia seems completely unaffected by events, such as spending an unchaperoned night with Mr. Bingley. Click here to read Pop Sugar’s very detailed recap of the final episode.
There seems to be two minds about this show out in the blogosphere: people either loved it or hated it. I, for one, wonder why ITV gave so much airtime to this series and so little to the three Jane Austen adaptations in 2007. Never mind. Here’s what The Culture Show had to say about the series:
And this series is science fiction – although with a more female bent than often is the case.
I’m not claiming that Lost in Austen is great art, but it is a well-acted and enjoyable series which imagines what the result might be if a reader were to enter the book and tried to influence events.
One must completely suspend disbelief when watching this show, otherwise one might be overly bothered by the contrived coincidences that push the plot forward. Mr. Wickham seems to pop up at just the right places at precisely the right time to help Amanda out of a pickle, and Amanda spots Mr. Darcy in that great and bustling metropolitis, London, with very little effort. While Mr. Darcy walks about a bit dazed in the 21st century, he does not seem overly inquisitive about his new surroundings.
Lizzy (Gemma Arterton) relishes her life working as a nanny in London, turning appliances on and off, using her cell phone, and reducing her employers’ carbon footprints. One gets the sense from these scenes that quite a bit of time must have passed for Lizzy to become so comfortable and settled in the future. The dialogue remains sparkling and witty, and the roles are well acted, even though poor Elliot Cowan is made to move about like an automaton once he makes it to London. Mr. Bennet finally arrives on center stage, and Hugh Bonneville takes full advantage of his moments in the spotlight, stealing every scene he’s in.
For those who were unable to watch the series, you can download ITV’s press pack and read detailed descriptions of each episode. Amazon.uk offers the DVD for sale for £11.98 at this link. During my travels I’ve discovered that my laptop will play just about any DVD from around the world, and so does my portable DVD player. And a comment left by Charley Brown on my Episode Three review will direct viewers to a link that leads to past episodes.
I’m rather sad that this show has ended. I found it as addictive as a bucket of buttered popcorn. Once you get started, you can’t stop eating until every morsel is gone. And then you still look for more.