The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, June 15, 2015

Strangers & Brothers (1983-1984)

Well, some 32 years--gulp!--after I first saw this series, and it introduced me to the great roman-fleuve by C.P. Snow, whose writing has been a mainstay of mine ever since, I found a copy of the miniseries. I've started watching it. The first episode is a little clunky in parts--Lewis Eliot's (Shaughan Seymour) masochistic yearning for Sheila Knight (Sheila Ruskin) (yes, that's Kassia, fellow Whovians) is often told us, not shown, in Eliot's fervent declamations that are overwritten. Their quiet moments work better, though, and the drama of the young Eliot fighting to make a name at the Bar with a tricky, exploitative pupil master (Neil Stacy is quite funny in the role, deftly evading any responsibility for his pupil's well being) is done quite nicely.

The part of the drama that ensnared me in 1983 is yet to come--the adaptation of Snow's single best novel, The Light and the Dark (1947), which led me to that book. Funny, tender, tragic by turns, I remember Nigel Havers's bravura performance, and the gallery of the Cambridge dons around him so vividly, especially Alan MacNaughton's sardonic Winslow.

I look forward to revisiting those spirited performances again.

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