Sunday, December 19, 2010


Andy Wilson, 2000, TV, 4 hrs (9.0*)

A BBC production for PBS
A deep, complex adventure fantasy, Gormenghast was a trilogy of novels by British author Mervyn Peake about a huge castle and the birth and life of a new heir to the throne, Titus Groan, which was the title of the first book. The mini-series covers the first two novels, which are quite lengthy.

Describing the plot is futile. Suffice to say there are many eccentric and interesting characters, romances, treachery and machinations over the throne and governing of the feudal castle-state, and enough to interest even jaded fans of science fiction and fantasy. Some truly original ideas are here, such as the castle being built around a huge tree and two sisters who prefer to live in the "room of roots", a maze of giant organic forms.

It's very "Dickensian" in style, yet so unique and rich that it's really incomparable. This is a must-see for fans of these genres, one of the best SF-fantasy series ever made.

Some interesting trivia associated with this
- it was a 19 year project of the producer
- Peake's granddaughters appeared as extras
- Lady Gertrude's white crow was the only known white crow in the world
- the castle miniatures were placed in vats of disinfectant then photographed
- author Peake was also noted for his artwork, he illustrated the books with his drawings


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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