PBS's new two-part British miniseries, Death Comes to Pemberley, is based on P.D. James's book of the same name and first aired in three parts on BBC One in the UK last December. The story begins six years after Pride and Prejudice's iconic couple Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (now Mrs. Darcy!!!) have gotten married, as there's been a murder on the night before the annual Pemberley ball. The miniseries stars Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House, South Riding) as Elizabeth Darcy, Matthew Rhys (The Americans) as Mr. Darcy, Matthew Goode (The Good Wife) as Wickham, and Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as Lydia. Check in next Monday for a recap of the second and final episode!
NOTE: This post contains spoilers for the first half of the PBS (and BBC One) miniseries Death Comes to Pemberley. Enjoy!
Before I start the recap, I want to admit something: I’m a Janeite, through and through. I’m not just a fan, I’m an uber fan. A fanatic. I’ve read all of Austen’s books numerous times (even the Juvenalia), am a proud, card-carrying member of JASNA, have taken classes and written papers about her work, have watched every movie/TV show iteration of her books, and have devoured multiple fanfics repeatedly. Pride and Prejudice is my second favorite Austen novel, and I’m absolutely delighted to share this recap with you! For those of you who haven’t read my recaps before, I tend to write them as I watch, so they are written rather loosely, and edited only enough to make the transitions between scenes easier to navigate.
The story is set six years after the events of Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth is now clearly comfortable in her position as Mrs. Darcy, and is running the household with a sure hand. We first meet her as she’s overseeing the preparations for a ball at Pemberley. We get a small glimpse of her son, Fitzwilliam, as he runs through the house, dodging servants and his nanny, and we see a grown-up, elegant Georgiana, clearly at ease with her sister-in-law. Amidst the chaos, Mr. Darcy comes out of his study roaring about the noise, only to pass a sweet note to Elizabeth and offer to get out of her hair for a few of hours (she can’t bear his being away for longer than that). It’s an idyllic picture of a comfortable marriage and loving family.
[So naturally that can't last...]