Last night, BBC television showed the first episode of Wolf Hall, the adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Booker prize winning novel. As I was out, I recorded it and have not yet had time to watch the recording. To be honest, I rather think I will not be bothering with any other episodes and will more than likely give up on this one after a few minutes. And the reason for my negative attitude? Actually, there are two.
First, all the comments I have seen from professional critics have lavished praise. But what the critics like, I usually dislike. So that rather puts the mockers on it.
Secondly, it was filmed in candlelight. Yes, candlelight! I have been getting increasingly concerned that the good old Beeb has failed to pay its electricity bill as so many shows are filmed in deep gloom, such deep gloom that I can't actually see any action. It all seemed to start about a year ago with Jamaica Inn, based on Daphne Du Maurier's novel of the same name. The cast list looked great - but the show didn't. There were many complaints that people couldn't see what was happening - and that they couldn't hear what the actors were saying! This was partly due to mistakes in recording and partly to the actors being required to speak (mumble) in strong Cornish accents. That latter complaint - about accents - is also being made about the second series of Broadchurch which has recently started in ITV. We didn't watch the first series so here again, I am recording this second series in the hope that at some time the first will be repeated. Then we will be able to catch up!
In the meantime, we have become hooked on box sets. We've gone right through As Time Goes By, Porridge and Allo, Allo! and are now watching Judi Dench and Michael Williams in the 30-years-old sitcom, A Fine Romance. Is it just us getting old, or do they not make sitcoms like that any more?