Final Thoughts: War and Peace 2016

See previous episode reviews here:

Episode One

Episode Two

Episode Three

Episode Four

Episode Five

Episode Six

So we’ve come to the end of our Sunday night viewings of Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. Before I started watching, I was aware that we were in for a gorgeous, lavish drama with costumes galore and some sweeping battle scenes and we were certainly given just that.

While not perfect by any means (more on that later) this series made for consistently great viewing, never getting below a B- in my weekly ratings. The cinematography was perfect, the locations were epic and gorgeous and the music was always wonderful, matching what was happening on screen.

Performances. I do like mentioning these! Well, the ensemble cast performed very well, every character getting a chance to shine at one point or another. Top marks go to Paul Dano, Jim Broadbent, Jessie Buckley, Adrian Edmondson and of course, Tuppence Middleton (“Sweet Boy” being the line of the series!)

The battle scenes, especially those in the first two episodes, were perfectly staged and executed and they certainly added a bona fide sense of excitement and tension.

If terms of negative points, a couple of the episodes started off a bit too leisurely, though they always picked up steam and finished brilliantly, and the acting was occasionally a bit wooden. I also think that a few of the central relationships were a bit thin and occasionally uninteresting; perhaps strangely enough, the central pairing of Andrei and Natasha was the weakest of all! Also, Gillian Anderson as Anna Pavlova was a bit superfluous; she seems to be the queen of BBC costume drama…

So in summary, this has been a beautiful, engaging, exciting series with some great performances and tense battle scenes. Andrew Davies proves once again that he is the master of classic literature adaptations.

Final Verdict: Five Stars

Well, I guess that’s it. I’m going to miss watching and blogging about this on Sundays, though I still have two weeks of “Deutschland 83” to keep me going, and I’d like to say a big thanks to anyone who read my WAP posts – mucho obligado! Who knows when I’ll do another episode-by-episode series review; maybe on Andrew Davies’ upcoming Aneurin Bevan story?

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