I watched ‘Lost in Austen’ last night. I have to say this is one of the most gormless things I’ve seen on telly for a long time, which takes some doing in the ‘Big Brother’ era. ‘Lost in Austen’ was unrelentingly daft. I kept the remote control out of reach, hoping the programme would improve as time went on, but no!
It was as if writer Guy Andrews and the producers tried to do a pick ‘n’ mix of all the things they think us mere females like about Pride & Prejudice - elegant ladies in gorgeous frocks, Regency bucks clad in tight ‘inexpressibles,’ quadrilles etc - and stirred them up with a big stick in the hope we’d lap it up.
But someone forgot the sparkling dialogue! And who on earth is this aimed at? If Austen fans, then why did Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) spend an age justifying the fact that she loved the book?
There were a couple of things I liked about it. Mrs Bennet (Alex Kingston), who I thought was going to be an Alison Steadman clone at first, had a chilling air of menace as she protected her daughters from the interloper. Darcy (Elliot Cowan) was watch-able, with a manic gleam in his eye, and Mr Bennet (Hugh Bonneville) was great. But it was incredibly slow to get going. I can’t believe they are going to spin it out over four hours! This might have been better written as a one-hour special.