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Archive for February 6th, 2010

Richard E Grant as the Pimpernel in disguise

Sorry for being a bit slow in getting round to writing something about the second season of The Scarlet Pimpernel starring Richard E Grant.

I won’t write about this in as much detail as I did about the first season, which I think is better – but did want to say that I think it is worth watching, and the first episode of the second season, in particular, is probably my favourite out of the whole series.

The first series largely centres on the love triangle between Sir Percy Blakeney (Grant), his wife Marguerite (Elizabeth McGovern) and her ex-lover, now a spy for Robespierre, Chauvelin (Martin Shaw), who is Blakeney’s arch-enemy. However, in the second series both Shaw and McGovern are out of the cast – I don’t know what the reasons for this were but would guess that Shaw, at least, had other commitments – and Grant pretty well has to carry the series on his own. Ronan Vibert’s role as Robespierre is stepped up so that he becomes the main villain of the piece, and John McEnery is brought in as Sir William Wetherby, a new older sidekick for Percy. Both of these are fine actors and Vibert in particular is downright chilling as Robespierre – but  I must say that I missed both Marguerite and Chauvelin, and felt losing both these central characters together was a real shame, taking away from the romance and tension.

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