Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mary Shelley

I don't know about you, but whenever I've made a dramatized documentary about historical figures whose appearance is reasonably well known, I've tried to hire actors who vaguely resemble the people they are portraying. Not so the producers of the Mary Shelley doco, Frankenstein: Birth Of A Monster, which the ABC aired on Sunday night. Ok, Lucy Davenport made a good, if prettified, Mary, but the male casting was terrible. The guy playing Byron was more Jerry Seinfeld than George Gordon; meanwhile, Oliver Cris had obviously decided to portray Percy Shelley as he might have looked after a few too many nights down at Smorgy's. Worse, the fact that P.B. Shelley was something of a cad seemed of far greater interest to the producers than the fact that he was also a brilliant poet and thinker! And although the show was obviously intended to boost Mary Shelley's reputation, it barely mentioned her other five novels, making Frankenstein seem like a fluke product of a young woman's overactive imagination, rather than the work of the genuinely gifted writer she was.

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