I am finally getting around to watching the Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on BBC America. As someone, who absolutely loves BBC shows, I knew I had to catch Mr Norell and Jonathan Strange. Of course, I have never read the books, but none of that matters. The pilot starts out with the introduction of Segundus (Edward Hogg), who seems to be a magical enthusiast or lover. After a letdown at the magic society, he eventually runs into Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan), who has been stealing his books!
After a little convincing, Mr. Norrell agrees to perform magic! The nonbelievers challenge the magician and receive the ultimate surprise, at his home. After this, Mr. Norrell and Childermass (Enzo Cilenti) go on their own and leave Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) behind to be belittled and abused by his father.
Norrell winds up traveling to parliament, in hopes of offering his services to the war. Of course, he is turned away and ridiculed for his abilities. He eventually encounters Vinculus (Paul Kaye), who claims to be a magician and happens to know something about a mysterious Raven King. Suffice to say, old Vinculus is full of surprises and premonitions.
After Norrell convinces his loyal comrade Childermass to get a magical book from Vinculus, the street magician, Vinculus, winds up feeling the city. He runs into Jonathan Strange and gives him some spells, which were taken from Childermass and written by Norrell. Thus, Strange becomes a magician. When he performs his magical spells, which allows him to see his enemy, he sees Norrell.
Meanwhile, Mr. Norrell receives an offer to help make him the most well known magician in the land and throughout history. Of course, he agrees and is tasked with bringing back Sir Walter Pole’s (Samuel West) fiancee to life. During the resurrection of Emma Wintertowne, or Lady Pole, (Alice Englert), Norrell is introduced to a strange Gentleman (Marc Warren). The Gentleman makes him an awkward deal and Norrell accepts.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell Review
Overall, the show does an excellent job with the setting and fantasy atmosphere. The show also delivers many different moods. In some lights, it is entirely silly and fun. Other times, it is a little bit bleak and depressing. There is undoubtedly a mysterious aura to the show that will pull you in and make you question what exactly is going to happen next.
All of the action was spot on. Edward Hogg, Bertie Carvel, Eddie Marsan and Paul Kaye were all stand outs in the pilot. The show is definitely enjoyable and worth checking out. I enjoyed the first episode and give it an 8 out of 10.