DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Middlemarch

The Making Of... mini documentary is fascinating as far as it goes. Stamford was transformed into Middlemarch. It took almost five months of negotiation to set it up, change the facade of houses, cover the road with soil, at a cost of more than £200,000. The set decorators and designers discuss their work, as do the cameraman, editor, director and producer.

As scenes are prepared, the lighting checked and double checked, it is surprising how small actors appear in this crowd of technicians and how close they are to the equipment when delivering emotive lines. It makes you respect them even more.

Copy picture

Screenwriter Andrew Davies talks about the script and how much had to be left out to retain the flow of the story. The actors, who knew the book, would come up to him and wonder what happened to that glorious speech their character delivers, only to be told that it had been scrapped in favour of a mute close up. His admiration for the author knew no bounds: "She could go along to any TV company today and find work."

Robert Hardy stands in Highgate cemetry beside the grave of Mary Ann Cross, who died in 1880. After a year in production, he has come to honour the person, without whom Middlemarch would never have existed. Mary Ann, of course, was George.

Reviewed on: 20 Sep 2001
Share this with others on...
Middlemarch packshot
Personal and public politics in a small English town in the middle of the 19th century
Amazon link

Product Code: VFC 26386

Region: 0

Ratio: 14:9

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: The Making Of Middlemarch, an additional 30 minutes of music composed by Stanley Myers and Chris Gunning, Scene Selection, trailers for other BBC productions.

Search database: