This one kind of flew in under the radar. I don’t keep up with what’s new from the BBC, and a lot of their fantasy and science fiction tends to not click with me. I am literally the only person in my circle of close friends that isn’t a fan of Dr. Who. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell though caught my eye and I’m glad to say I gave it a try.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell is a fantasy miniseries about two mages attempting to practice magic in ‘modern’ London society. I quote the word modern because it is set in the Napoleonic era, making this more a historical fantasy than a traditional one. The story follows their relationship as the two mages grow in power, both magically and socially, and the conflicts that arise from their differing views on the future of their profession. There’s also some side plots that become main plots involving fairy betrayal and human madness as the series unfolds, and by the end the conflict has grown to almost apocalyptic potential.
You can knock Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell out in a weekend binge if you feel like, and I highly recommend it. The effects are fairly good for a TV production, and the acting, especially between the two protagonists, is great fun. I’ll let you form your own opinions about how things wrap up, but be prepared for the twists to leaving you wanting more.
Check it out on Netflix: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell.