The Austen edits

Moving sucks. It sucks so much time from you that it’s just draining. There’s too much to do, so little time, and that includes blog posts. At least there’s the magic of the PVR.

At the moment, I’m typing and watching the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. It’ll be over three weeks, and I’ll wait until the end to compile thoughts about it. Given that this is almost six hours long, the four previous entries in this Austen season pale in comparison in terms of plot and pacing. Even at 90 minutes or so, these films were still subject to editing, which leads me to two posts on AustenBlog:

A public service announcement of the Janeite Broadcasting Network
PBS responds

The uproar from more ardent Austen fans revolves around the slight edits of what are already condensed adaptations (if the Editrix at AustenBlog is right, the deleted scenes between the original UK airings and the Masterpiece versions are nothing to write home about), and that the DVD releases for Region 1 are not even the uncut, UK versions!

I’ve already mentioned in my post-Mansfield post that a certain plot point from the novel has been removed in that film. The lengths used here certainly weaken the stories (and any search will show the criticism to the lengths of these adaptations). Again, AustenBlog’s editrix says it best: “One of the selling points of the ITV “Jane Austen Season” was that “each generation deserves its own Jane Austen adaptations.” Too bad this generation gets the short-attention-span versions.” When this Pride and Prejudice is concluded, the difference will be like night and day.

And going through the first hour of P&P, I can add to my Austen-Doctor Who connection: Christopher Benjamin as Sir William Lucas and as the excellent Henry Gordon Jago in The Talons of Weng-Chiang.


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