Tag Archive: Bertie Carvel


Review by C.J. Bunce

Screenwriter Sarah Phelps (EastEnders, Dublin Murders) is back with her next project, another adaptation of a well-known Agatha Christie work, a year from release of her first Amazon Studios project, The ABC Murders (reviewed here at borg), which starred John Malkovich and Rupert Grint.  The new series is Christie’s creepy tale The Pale Horse, a supernatural mystery from 1961, directed by Leonora Lonsdale (Beast).  The series stars Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle, Zen, A Knight’s Tale) as Mark Easterbrook, a man of questionable character whose wife dies in the bathtub at the beginning of the story.  Remember his name, because it is included last on a list found in the shoe of another dead woman.  Why women are ending up dead found on the list, and why Easterbrook’s name was included, is the key mystery of this two-part series.

As Easterbrook is hounded by the local police led by Sean Pertwee (Gotham, Doctor Who) as Inspector Stanley Lejeune–who is investigating the string of deaths.  Easterbrook decides to investigate himself, to beat the inspector to the answer, which takes him to the small town of Much Deeping.  Much Deeping has an inn, an inn that is home to three witches, and he figures that somehow they are connected.  Easterbrook’s second wife, a key player in the story, is played by Kaya Scodelario (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Maze Runner).  This is another Christie story of lies, and the lying liars that tell them, with the oddball, quirky twists we saw in both The ABC Murders and Murder on the Orient Express.

Rounding out the cast are familiar genre faces Georgina Campbell (His Dark Materials, Krypton, Broadchurch, Black Mirror) as the first Mrs. Easterbrook and Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Sherlock, Doctor Who) as another man interviewed in relation to the deaths.

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Jonathan Strange and Mr Morrell

The 2004 alternate history fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by British author Susanna Clarke is on its way to your TV set.  Set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England in a fantasy world where magic once existed, two magicians meet: genre actor Eddie Marsan (The World’s End, V for Vendetta, Sherlock Holmes, Gangs of New York) plays Mr. Norrell, opposite Bertie Carvel (Sherlock, Doctor Who) as Jonathan Strange.  The novel is adapted by Peter Harness (WallanderDoctor Who) and directed by Toby Haynes (SherlockDoctor Who).

The cast also includes Marc Warren (The Good WifeHustle) as The Gentleman, Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond) as Sir Walter Pole, Enzo Cilenti (Prisoners Wives, Rome) as Childermass, and Ariyon Bakare (The Dark KnightDancing on the Edge) as Stephen Black.

jonathan strange bbc

Here’s the description of the show from the BBC America press release:

1806.  England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation’s past.  However, scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains – the reclusive and skillful Mr Norrell (Marsan).  His displays of magic soon thrill the nation. In London, he raises the beautiful Lady Pole (Englert) from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. 

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