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 To the Ends of the Earth 
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I just finished watching the first episode. I must say that I was engrossed by it. The characters are quite intriguing, as are the ways in which they interact with each other. There is no clear-cut "hero."

As Mil said in her post, I thought that it was a pretty realistic view of a warship that's seen better days. I can certainly relate to Talbot's seasickness. :lol: It was good to see the crossing the line ceremony. Neptune was rather scary! And, I must say that I liked Captain Anderson's garden. It showed another side of a crusty, cold officer.

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.

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Last edited by susan on Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:06 am
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Post So-So
I'm not as enthusiastic as Mary's and Susan's comments about this first episode. I was thrilled to see a 74 at sea and all the naval details but after thinking about this, I realized that I was only thrilled by the background... the naval setting… not the story details. If this same story were set on a modern ship, I very much doubt if I would watch the last two episodes. Especially since the major event in this part had such a depraved act at its core.

However, I probably will watch the last two parts just to see the ship & weather scenes (previews) and to see if the story line improves... particularly to see if Edmund Talbot grows as a human being... he certainly is a bit of a stinker at the moment… a prejudiced snob with a horrible attitude toward women. This is advertised as a voyage of "self-discovery" so I guess that there is a chance of this character growing into someone I could like.

The BBC does such a great job with these period dramas, I must again take my hat off to them. The visual details are spectacular.

There seems to be a lot of character flaws in the passengers, officers, and crew. I suspect that is why the ship is named Pandora. :D

Susan mentioned Captain Anderson’s garden. Has anyone ever read a first hand account of a naval captain growing plants in his cabin? I was also puzzled by the large empty space between the rows of passengers’ cabins. That didn’t seem quite normal. Even if the crew were reduced to reflect the reduced number of guns (fewer gun crews needed) the walls of the passengers could have easily been moved to supply more space for them. Or more supplies... or something.

An idiosyncrasy I have is identifying an actor/actress too closely with the first major role I see them in. Therefore, I kept seeing Victoria Hamilton (playing the governess, Miss Granham) as Queen Victoria in the movie "Victoria & Albert" that I watched last year. That was the only role I had ever seen her in prior to this and it was hard to forget her "royal" performance... which she did very well. I was surprised that she had so few lines until I looked at the original website posted by Mary and saw that her part expands significantly in later episodes.

Don


Last edited by timoneer on Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:03 am
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I, too, had some reservations about the first episode, though I thought I might wait for another one to make a firm judgment. When the show started I thought I had missed an episode, so quickly did it plunge into the material. I have a cautious attitude toward the Talbot character; but I thought my perceptions had been skewed by just finishing Vanity Fair the day before. Thackeray seems to have the last word on the pretensions and hypocrisies of the era or any era for that matter.
I will continue to watch just to see the social interactions among the characters. It certainly beats the umpteenth exposition of the Da Vinci Code that has been foisted off on us as historical or intelligent viewing these days.
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Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:57 pm
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Interesting comments so far.

I guess I was prepared for disturbing scenes and flawed characters since I've read two of Golding's other books, Lord of the Flies and Darkness Visible. So these things didn't bother me.

I think anyone looking for a Hornblower-type adventure, would find this production disappointing. It's more of a study of human nature, good and bad, than the "shoot and cheer" type of story. The ship is like a fishbowl where we can watch what happens when different people are thrown together in close quarters. (Early version of The Real World?)

Sorry for the ramble...hope that makes sense.

Regarding the garden on ships...I seem to remember reading that Collingwood kept some plants on his ship (which wouldn't surprise me since he liked tending the cabbages in his garden at home). However, I can't remember where, so don't quote me on that. I do know that Parry grew cress and mustard (see the Food thread). That was more for practical reasons, but he wrote that tending the plants gave him some amusement as well. And there was Bligh...while it wasn't "his" garden, he did take an active interest in the breadfruit plants.

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Last edited by susan on Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:29 pm
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susan wrote:
I guess I was prepared for disturbing scenes and flawed characters since I've read two of Golding's other books, Lord of the Flies and Darkness Visible. So these things didn't bother me.
I have never read Darkness Visible but Lord of the Flies is not one of my top 500 books so I think you have discovered one of my prejudices.

susan wrote:
I think anyone looking for a Hornblower-type adventure, would find this production disappointing.... "shoot and cheer" type of story.
I'm still reserving my final judgment on this trilogy but, as for me, I enjoy more than just Hornblower/"shoot & cheer" novels. For example, books about explorers hold my interest too. However, I tend to look at literature as escapism so I normally identify closely with the main character. If the "hero" has minor flaws (Aubrey with gluttony, puns) I can deal with that if he has "some" heroic qualities. Otherwise it is like someone talking in a theater, I snap out of the fantasy. Hopefully, Talbot will drift into my "likable" category.

susan wrote:
The ship is like a fishbowl where we can watch what happens when different people are thrown together in close quarters. (Early version of The Real World?)
I reserve my comments about each and every reality show for another lifetime in a galaxy far away. :D

susan wrote:
Regarding the garden on ships...I seem to remember reading that Collingwood kept some plants on his ship (which wouldn't surprise me since he liked tending the cabbages in his garden at home). However, I can't remember where, so don't quote me on that. I do know that Parry grew cress and mustard (see the Food thread). That was more for practical reasons, but he wrote that tending the plants gave him some amusement as well. And there was Bligh...while it wasn't "his" garden, he did take an active interest in the breadfruit plants.
I'm going to look for your Collingwood reference... I just don't remember this, but, you're right, it really does sound like him. The only time I remember reading of growing greens aboard ships was in the only book that rivals "The Da Vinci Code" in controversy, namely: "1421: The Year China Discovered America."

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Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:07 pm
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timoneer wrote:
However, I tend to look at literature as escapism so I normally identify closely with the main character. If the "hero" has minor flaws (Aubrey with gluttony, puns) I can deal with that if he has "some" heroic qualities. Otherwise it is like someone talking in a theater, I snap out of the fantasy. Hopefully, Talbot will drift into my "likable" category.

What about the first luff, Summers? He seems to be a decent guy. He's my favorite character so far (stop chuckling, Mil). With my luck, there will be something seriously wrong with him.

I have hope for Talbot. He does have a conscience.

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I reserve my comments about each and every reality show for another lifetime in a galaxy far away.

I admit I watch Project Runway. :shock:

Quote:
I'm going to look for your Collingwood reference... I just don't remember this, but, you're right, it really does sound like him.

I'm wondering if it's in the book Limeys, that I've never gotten around to finishing...will have to check my notes.

Oh...and I forgot to mention that I think Jared Harris should play Nelson. :D

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Last edited by susan on Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:44 pm
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timoneer wrote:
I reserve my comments about each and every reality show for another lifetime in a galaxy far away.
susan wrote:
I admit I watch Project Runway. :shock:

Since we're 'fessing up... After making my original comment I really, really, REALLY hate to admit that I recently starting watching MasterChef. :oops: Pardon me, I'll have to go scurge myself now!

Re: Collingwood, I checked "Scurvy" and a couple of other books with no success.

Don


Last edited by timoneer on Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:56 pm
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I found a bit about plants in Henry Nottidge Moseley's Notes by a Naturalist on the "Challenger" (1879). It's beyond the SN time period, I know, but interesting:

"The only plants which made their spontaneous appearance on the ship were Moulds. Whenever the ship entered damp latitudes everything in our cabins on the lower deck became moist, and mould grew thickly over boots and all other leathern articles. I grew mustard and cress with great success in my wardian cases before these were required for other purposes. I failed, however, entirely with onions and radishes, which I also tried to grow. The plant most commonly grown on board ship in the tropics is the Sweet Potato. It can be grown in water and made to climb up the wall of a cabin and afford a pleasant green."

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Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:06 am
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Well, the programme certainly has inspired some discussion. I ferreted about in my tapes and was pleased to see I had recorded the programme which I will watch again at some point with greater interest. :)

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Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:53 pm
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I watched Part II last night. Like the Part I, I found it engrossing.

Talbot started to get on my nerves in this one. However, it was unclear whether his erratic behavior was a result of his existing personality flaws, the knock on the head or a bit of both. It is sort of similiar to what some historians claim to have happened to Nelson after he was wounded in the head during the Battle of the Nile.

I still like Summers. I felt sorry for him when Talbot said the unkind things to him after learning that he came up from the lower deck.

Anderson seemed more moderate and likeable.

As Mil mentioned in one of her earlier posts, the comments about steam ships were amusing. I was also pleased to see the ship rigged for dancing (get out those variegated lamps).

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Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:02 pm
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susan wrote:
I still like Summers. I felt sorry for him when Talbot said the unkind things to him after learning that he came up from the lower deck.
I too have joined Summers fan club. It's a shame that Summers doesn't have a bigger part in the series. Talbot's comment congratulating Summers on being able to ape the manners and speech of his betters: Was Talbot being an upper class axx (using sarcasm) or was he being sincere and starting to approach being human? I couldn't tell. Maybe episode 3 will clear this up.

susan wrote:
Anderson seemed more moderate and likable.
Yes, he does... but I wonder if he will behave any better when the next parson becomes a passenger or... has he learned his lesson.

Don


Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:15 pm
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timoneer wrote:
Yes, he does... but I wonder if he will behave any better when the next parson becomes a passenger or... has he learned his lesson.

If the next parson was a rich/influential person, I'm certain he would behave with complete civility. :)

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Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:46 pm
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susan wrote:
timoneer wrote:
Yes, he does... but I wonder if he will behave any better when the next parson becomes a passenger or... has he learned his lesson.

If the next parson was a rich/influential person, I'm certain he would behave with complete civility. :)
Susan, I think you nailed the Captain's character exactly! :D

Don


Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:10 am
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I still haven't had any luck finding the ship's garden reference. I haven't been able to find it in my notes (I'm pretty sure I would make a note of something like that). Maybe I'm going mad.

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Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:14 am
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Post Third Episode
Well, I just finished watching the third episode and, for me, it ended up a lot better than it started. I found that I began liking Talbot when he chose to follow Lt. Summers' advice and not frighten his fellow passengers with the true status of the ship's condition. He actually became a decent human being afterward, even a brave and loyal one at the end. I even felt sorry for him and was pleased at his final happiness. However, the fate of Lt. Summers was pretty harsh and unnecessary as far as I was concerned..

I guess Fielding was trying to give an overall meaning to his book by having Mrs. Prettiman say to Talbot that the voyage was not an odyssey but more a "series of events." I guess real life is pretty close to that for most of us.

There were not many funny moments but I had to smile when Talbot jumped onto his new bed and smelled the clean bed linens. I think I would have done the same thing after such a long and miserable sea voyage. :D

Don


Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:14 am
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