Ok, it’s a few days late but here are a few quick first thoughts about the first episode of Parade’s End.
Beforehand there were quite a few comparisons with Downton Abbey, no doubt brought on by the fact that both shows are, well, set around the same time period.
Because that’s it. That’s the only point of similarity. The are both set around 1912. That’s it.
Anyway, I quite enjoyed Parade’s End. It started a little slowly, with the exception of various naughty scenes of Rebecca Hall doing naughty things. Those inclined can have a peek at the iPlayer.
We meet Benedict Cumberbatch’s character Christopher Tietjens who is unhappily married to Rebecca Hall’s Sylvia. She’s off having a fling and he heads off with his friend McMaster for a game of golf, even tough he clearly detests the game.
And then things pick up because two suffragets invade the golf course.
My mild interest in the episode picked up in a moment. Suffragettes invading a golf course. That’s just sheer brilliance. It makes me want to read the (very long) source novel by Ford Madox Ford just to ensure that the scene is indeed in there.
Tietjens encounters Valentine, one of the suffragettes (played by Adelaide Clemens), again later at a dinner attended by a wonderfully barmy Rufus Sewell and for reasons I won’t go into ends up spending a night with her on a horse and cart. She’s everything that Slyvia isn’t and when they part the next morning you can tell he’s been affected by the encounter and is perhaps realising how deeply unhappy he is.
All the cast do good work. I’m looking forward to episode two, even thought the likelihood of more suffragets invading golf courses is unlikely.