Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sally Lockhart's Victorian London on PBS

American Public Television, Where The Sun Never Sets on The British Empire. I fell in love with London by watching PBS. Sally Lockhart was recently on Masterpiece Theater.

Sally Lockhart is a remarkable young woman with extraordinary strength and determination. Her upbringing was rather eccentric. Her father taught her all about book-keeping, how to fire a pistol, and how to speak Hindustani like a native. With these tools at her disposal, Sally Lockhart is ready to solve mysteries and right wrongs in the man's world of Victorian London.

The Ruby in The Smoke and The Shadow of The North were recently aired on PBS and I loved them both. Billie Piper of Dr Who fame does a wonderful job of being a strong woman in a time when women were not supposed to be strong. The supporting cast of stars is brilliant as well.

There are four books in the Phillip Pullman Sally Lockhart series and all four novels are being adapted into a TV Movie by BBC Drama for television and broadcast on BBC One-according to Wikipedia. Billie Piper is almost too pretty to be a Victorian, but I do like the way she looks in her long dresses and occasional posh hat.

One of the interesting bits of business in the Sally Lockhart stories is the issue of race. In America were all about the skin color, though not so much as we once were. So it is a bit strange to see an interracial marriage celebrated and a black man who is a Minister. The crux of the problem in the Ruby in the Smoke was an English woman having a one night stand with an Indian Maharajah-who was not a very nice fellow. There is also a Medium who is a black woman with an important part in the plot of The Shadow in the North. Were race relations really all that much sweetness and sunshine in London in the time of Queen Victoria?

Whatever the case in the real world, the world of Sally Lockhart and her adventures in Victorian London are fun to watch and I look forward to the next installment. My only real complaint was how the story seemed to jump by leaps and bounds between the two shows. There seemed to be a lot of changes and not a lot of explanations as to why. I might have to read the books one of these days and see what they have to say about it all.


Leet said...

I really like your blog - where I could catch up news or what is happening in London.
I lived in London for few years and I found the city is so fascinating.

Descartes said...

Thanks for stopping by. I only wish I lived in London, but I do try to keep up.