Monday, April 28, 2008

Against Type

I watched the first disc of Ultraviolet (the BBC television mini series from 1998) recently. While watching it I was struck by the familiarity of the actors playing various roles. Try as I might though I couldn't pinpoint where I'd seen the actors in the past. This always happens to me. If I don't have my middle daughter around, who has some supernatural ability to pull actor identities and their various characters out of thin air, I'm sunk. Often I totally lose the narrative of the film attempting to figure out where on earth I've seen these people before.

One character in particular stood out for me. I absolutely could not place her at first.

After a bit I finally figured out where I'd seen this actor before.

Dear God, it's Miss Jane Bennett! In a vampire mini series, playing a character that I'm not entirely sure is - gulp - good, honest or ethical.

If you're interested, Ultraviolet, even with the shock of seeing Miss Jane Bennet acting the way Angie Marsh does, is definitely worth a look. Dark, atmospheric and complicated, at least during the first disc, I've seen it described as "more mature" than Buffy the Vampire Slayer even though it deals with much the same premise. So far the program hasn't attempted to be black and white in it's approach to the idea of "good" or "evil", opting instead for a more realistic exploration of the concepts and the conceit that comes with being in power. The blurring of any defining characteristics from either side is well done, giving you plenty of "human" characteristics from the "leeches" and monstrous actions from the humans.

Great stuff - even if my memory of Miss Jane Bennet (Susannah Harker) from the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice (my favorite adaptation by far) has been forever impacted and altered.

You know though now that I think of it, while it's true that Jane's "goodness and disinterestedness does her credit", there was always something about that smile that had me wondering . . .


2 comments:

Angie said...

Aaaah! I wouldn't trust that Jane Bennett as far as I could throw her! Remember Lizzy saying "Oh Jane you're too good!" Too good indeed. Hmmm...Anyway, looks like she's aging well..
I'm right with you with the actor placement thing. It drives me crazy when I can't figure it out. Actually it drives my hubby crazy because I'm continually asking him "Where do I know that guy?". He doesn't give a rip one way or another. He only tries to help me so I'll figure it out and shut up. I need a daughter like yours in my life..

Influencebad said...

Good Lord! Jane! Who would have thought!