birdienl: (Winter)

During the stifling Indian summers, the British rule moved from New Delhi to Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas. At the start of the summer of 1932, Cynthia, owner of the famous Royal Simla Club, is readying her establishment for the season. Private secretary to the Viceroy, Ralph Whelan, welcomes his sister Alice, who has left England for mysterious reasons. Also moving to Simla are Indian clerk Aafrin and his family, including his British-minded father and his rebellious sister. As the temperatures rise, so will the tensions in this idyllic place, especially when Ralph is attacked by a mysterious gunman at the first night of the season.

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birdienl: (Winter)


The railway man (2013)
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The Passing Bells (2014)

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Mr Turner (2014)
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birdienl: (Jane Eyre)

Time master Rip Hunter travels back from the future to the 21st century to assemble a team of heroes and villains. He wants them to help him destroy the immortal dictator Vandal Savage, who took over the world and killed his family in the time where Rip came from. However, the team members don't easily work together and the group is hunted by the Time Masters, who believe they are destroying the time line.

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birdienl: (Spring)

The six-part miniseries ANZAC Girls tells the true and ofeten overlooked stories of the women from Australia and New-Zealand who served as nurses during World War I. In 1914, Alice, Hilda, Elsie, Olive and Matron Grace Wilson arrive in Egypt and soon find out that war is not the 'splendid adventure' they thought it was as they have to deal with the horror of wounded men from the Gallipoli campaign.

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birdienl: (Spring)

In the late 18th century, Ross Poldark returns to his family and home in Cornwall after having served in the army. Upon his return, he finds his father dead, the mine he owned closed and his beloved Elizabeth engaged to his cousin Francis. Ross starts on rebuilding his families estate, but has to fight against the greedy Warleggan bankers. He rescues the young woman Demelza and offers her a place as his kitched maid.

Anyone even a little interested in period drama can hardly have missed the buzz that this tv-series created when it aired on the BBC last year. It was hailed as everything from 'the next Downton Abbey' to 'the next Pride and Prejudice' and scored high ratings. So ofcourse I was curious!

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birdienl: (History castle)

Thomas Cromwell, born as the son of a blacksmith, has worked himself up to secretary of Cardinal Wolsey. After the downfall of the cardinal because of his critisism of King Henry VIII, Cromwell becomes an advisor of the King himself. He quickly grows in importance and has to walk a tight rope to escape being sucked into the treachery and intrigue at Henry's court.

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birdienl: (Winter1)


In 24 Hours in the Past, six British celebrities go back to the 19th century to live the life of the Victorian working class. They will live and work at four different places: the dust yard, the coaching inn, the potteries and end up in the worst place of all: the workhouse!

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birdienl: (Winter2)

A bit late maybe, but I've been busy 'holidaying'! Still, here are my thoughts on the Christmas specials this year!

Doctor Who: The husbands of River Song
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Call the Midwife
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Downton Abbey: The finale
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birdienl: (Jane Eyre)

Outlander is a 16-episode period drama made by Starz based on the first book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It's 1945 and WWII has just ended. Claire Randall, a former military nurse and her husband Frank are visiting Scotland on a sort of second honeymoon after having spend years mostly apart during the War. When visiting the ancient standing stones of Craigh na Dun, Claire faints after touching one of them and awakes in 1743. Claire is taken in by the Clan MacKenzie and uses her medical knowledge to carve a life for herself. One of her patients is the nephew of the laird Jamie Fraser and despite herself, Claire feels drawn to him. But 18th century Scotland is not a safe place and soon Claire and Jamie are caught up in the struggles between the Redcoats and the rebelling Highlanders.

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birdienl: (Jane Eyre)

Almost four years after the end of the last series, we are back at Selfridge's and much has changed. The War is over and the store profits from the renewed optimism of the British public. Mr Selfridge has lost his beloved wife Rose, but live goes on and his eldest daughter marries the Russian aristocrat Serge de Bolotoff who brings his mother Princess Marie into the Selfridge household. Agnes is looking forward to the return of Henri and the life they will start together, but this might not be as easy as she thought. Victor has left Selfridge and started a nightclub which draws Selfridge's wayward younger daughter Violette.
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birdienl: (Jane Eyre)

World War II may be over, but the world is still not a safe place. Christopher Foyle, former police inspector in Hastings, now works for the British intelligence service in London. Here he investigates international crime operations together with his unofficial assistant Sam Wainwright, a bright young women who used to be Foyle's driver.
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birdienl: (spring 2015)

After a series of 'adventures', the living-history team of the BBC: historian Ruth Goodman and archeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold have arrived in the Middle Ages. At Guédelon in France they uncover the long-forgotten art of building a castle and of the everyday live of the Medieval people involved.

If you've read my blog for a while (that is, before I started on Blogger, sorry...) you know that I'm a huge fan of the living-history series from the BBC. It all started in 2005, with Tales from the Green Valley, in which a group of enthusiastic historians and archeologists actually recreated the life on a farm in the 17th century. I was enchanted; this was an amazing way to learn about history and most of all, about forgotten, everyday history! After that, a part of the team went on to produce the hugely succesful 'Farm' series: Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm and Tudor Monastery Farm. I loved them all! So I was really pleased to hear that another series was being made, this time in the Middle Ages, a time period I'm really interested in, with my swordfighting hobby.
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birdienl: (Winter2)


The year 1666 is not a great one for London. In the overcrowded city tensions run high because of conflicts between rich and poor, the last remains of a Plague epidemic, the perilious position of the King and the persecution of Catholics. Thomas Farriner runs a bakery in Pudding Lane. As a widower, he has to take care of his two young daughters and also keeps an eye on his sister-in-law Sarah and her son. One hot September day Thomas' daughter leaves the door of the bakery oven open and so unwittingly starts a fire. Soon, the fire jumps from house to house in the crowded slums, people are trying to flee to safety and street rows are breaking out. Meanwhile, Lord Denton is tracking Sarah who he believes to be a Catholic spy and writer Samuel Pepys tries to convince King Charles II the take some serious measures against the spreading fire.
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birdienl: (Christmas)


My thoughts on the Christmas Specials from our beloved British shows from this year:

Beware, there are spoilers here!

Downton Abbey: A Moorland Holiday:
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Call the Midwife:
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Doctor Who: Last Christmas:
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birdienl: (Autumn)

This year, the BBC commemorate the centenary of WWI with a host of special tv- and radio programs. After 37 Days (review), The Crimson Field is the second drama offering of the British. This 6-part series shows the life and work of staff and patients at a field hospital in France. We follow the stories of three VADs, voluntary nurses from (mostly) the middle- and upper classes of society. Though extra hands are desperately needed in the field hospital, the VADs are not welcomed with open arms by the professional nurses who think these women are ill-prepared and naïve. Kitty Trevelyan (Oona Chaplin) has come to France to flee a tragic home situation. Her opinionated and headstrong character soon brings her in conflict with the senior hospital staff. Flora Marshall (Alice St Clair) is a sweet young girl who brightens up the wards and has a steely determination to prove that she can be a good nurse despite her young age. Rosalie Berwick (Marianne Oldham) is seen as an 'old maid' in her home environment and comes to France to 'do some good'. But the constant challenges of the hospital frighten her and her social insecurity alienates her from the rest of the staff. Kitty, Flora and Rosalie have to work together under Matron Grace Carter (Hermione Norris) and assist physicians Thomas Gillan (Richard Rankin) and Miles Hesketh-Thorne (Alex Wyndham).
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birdienl: (Summer)
         Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows
book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing
exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

For a while now I've been looking for a 'format' to talk a little bit more about real life stuff or just small observati ons and shout-outs that I'd like to make which don't fill a whole post. I think this weekly blogging event is just what I need for that! I hope to make posts like this more often (though perhaps not weekly...)

1. Tomorrow I'm going to visit a traditional country market. There are going to be demo's and workshops of old farming techniques, cooking and crafts, rare animal breeds and lots of stand with interesting traditional products. The weather promises to be good and it all takes place in an open-air museum. I'm really looking forward to it!

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Trailers!

Aug. 9th, 2014 12:32 am
birdienl: (Summer)
I've been seeing a number of pretty interesting trailers recently for, mostly, period movies. I thought I'd share them with you!



The imitation game: This reminds me quite strongly of Enigma, one of my favourite WWII movies. On the one hand, why make another movie about the Bletchley codebreakers? On the other hand, it's a fascinating subject and this one seems to be based more on true historical events. Besides, it stars the-one-and-only Benedict Cumberbatch and also Matthew Goode (one of my personal favourites!), Allen Leech and Keira Knightley.

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birdienl: (Hello spring)
We're nearing the end of our time in Middlemarch...
And Lydgate seems to be nearing the end of his wits as he fights once again with Rosie about their dire financial situation. Rosie has written to Tertius' rich uncle, but the letter they get back is less than friendly... To blow off steam, Lydgate goes to the pub where he gets quite drunk and is dangerously close to loosing a large sum of money. Luckily Fred, who seems to have matured quite a lot since the last episode, is able to steer Lydgate away from danger.


Have some roles been reversed or what?
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birdienl: (Hello spring)
Here we are at the one-to-last episode of Middlemarch!

Last episode, we left Lydgate and Rosie in a very unhappy place and it doesn't get any better this episode. Lydgate tries to explain to Rosie they will have to live less luxurious, but Rosamund doesn't want to listen to him or help him. Meanwhile, she's visited by Ladislaw (who apparently is still hanging around Middlemarch). She airily talks about Casoubon's will and Dorothea's situation, without realizing Ladislaw knew nothing about this part of his relative's will. Ladislaw is mortified and when he meets Dorothea by accident, he tells her he will leave Middlemarch and never come back, because she is forbidden to him.


You're telling me whát?!

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