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Monday, 24 August 2015

Partners in Crime N or M? Episode 5 review

As the second story almost comes to an conclusion, this installment is definitely worth tons of comedy value!
Tuppence shows immense bravery; lying that she is working by herself with a gun pointed at her, Tommy blunders in and blows it. Thankfully, Major Caan doesn't seem the kind of man to kill the people who are looking for the same spy as he is.

He lets them go but they follow him to a ball; Tommy trying his hardest to get in without a ticket when his wife has already found a way in by posing as a waitress.
I could certainly see the Tuppence's head pounding as she watched Tommy dancing with Mrs Sprot.

Their childish bickering over who N really is has been ramped up as whenever N is mentioned they both mention Mrs Sprot and Mr Denim, who have both been flirting with them both throughout the third episode.

More so, their evolution as a couple is clearly evident; they don't seem to get very far without each other - they suspect people but when it comes to delving deeper into the mystery, that's when they come back together.

All of this bickering has deterred them from the married couple staying in the hotel but even they are only found to be fraudsters.
Also, there are developments with Mrs Sprot; Tuppence finds some intimate letters she wrote to Major Caan in her draw, she is caught but Mrs Sprot explains she knew that Caan did kill himself because she knew him. Could this just be another cover up?
At this point I can't tell but I still feel like she is hiding something.

Tommy does discover something quite mysterious though. As Commander Haydock pushes him into going bird watching with him quite drunkenly, Tommy scarpers and finds an entrance to some caves with old wooden boxes scattered on the beach.
He brings Tuppence and they explore, one of Tuppence's fears is revealed- fear of the dark. A very human fear that saddles me with a perplex understanding of what they're doing.

Oddly, it leads back to the hotel, a perfect way for N to retreat without anyone noticing. It's then Tommy's turn to investigate Denim. Tuppence has to distract him but doesn't really succeed but I'm guessing it is quite hard to flirt with someone who could be a spy and responsible for the detonation of an atomic bomb.

It seems likely that Denim is N- he's actually German and has a pistol, oh and he also hits Tommy over the head and kidnaps him onto his boat. I would have like Tuppence to have been the one in danger as I think it would have given Tommy's character that space to show how he deals with his wife being missing and how strong his relationship is with Tuppence.

Extremely funny, the plot with spontaneous plans which gives it a never a dull moment feel. The characters are laced with charm, mystery, strengths and weaknesses that we can all relate too, especially the Beresfords. 

Just a quick mention to the costume department who have done an exquisite job; I've been blown away by the array of stunning and lascivious outfits.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Partners in Crime- 'N or M?' Episode 4

The infamous sleuths are back for a brand new and entirely different tale from the first with a sparkly glamour and far more witty lines that had me giggling like an uncontrollable clown.
So Tommy is now in the Wig business much to Tuppence's dismay as they rather enthusiastically make their way to the opera.
Carter gives Tommy another mission to complete- he must find an atomic scientist Gilbert who has gone missing and that someone or something that is connected to him is resided at the Sans Souci Hotel in Cromer.
The setting and costumes were very sparkly and beautiful which gives you a flavour of the period and energy of the time.
You think that the couple may just be spending a lovely evening out but oh no, one Mr Harrison has fallen down and died. Tuppence clearly thinks that something fishy is going on as she raises the question of whether his drink may have been poisoned.

Never before have I seen the London fog displayed with such wonderful lighting. The reds and yellows illuminated the characters beautifully and I certainly did not expect the policewoman to start shooting at Tuppence. I tensed up and hoped that my favourite character would not be hurt. 
Maybe not physically but I think it was right that they should show the psychological strain on the human mind when they nearly come face to face with death. She's a brave and strong woman who surely would not let some pathetic killer stop her from doing what's right.

Off they run to their friend Albert who seems to have taken a liking to the new drama teacher as he asks her to get him a crumpet.
These are some valuable slices of humour that the story needs to give it a lift and show that the lives of the people around them continue to live in a way that we can relate too and that not everyone is being murdered.
Albert reveals cyanide was the culprit which leads Tuppence to lead the investigation.
However, as Carter pops over Tuppence is told to hide upstairs. Does Tommy not know his wife and think that she wouldn't be eavesdropping on their whole conversation? I guess not.
One of the many qualities of Tuppence I admire greatly is her determination, curiosity and capability to take on a mission  that requires spontaneous thinking, cunning and wit.

Tuppence is already at the hotel when Tommy arrives and she has blended comfortably with the rest of the guests especially Carl Denim who openly flirts with Tuppence and likewise Mrs Sprot with Tommy. Injecting more layers of comedy doesn't shift from the drama as it fits nicely as you can use their interactions to try and work out the people behind the names. 

Likewise, it enables Tommy and Tuppence's relationship to evolve and spread open in terms of how their marriage has been affected because of the investigating and other people showing interest.
More so, Tuppence definitely feels betrayed that Tommy would swear that nothing was going on when she clearly knew different. I think she feels the same towards Tuppence because he knows how capable and brilliant she is at investigating but because of the period she is cut out due to being female.

But that is why we need more female roles like Tuppence on television who are not afraid to say that they can do the same things as men. And that they are not weak but stronger mentally because they know that they deserve to achieve the same things and go on adventures that proves their value. 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Partners in Crime 'The Secret Adversary'- Episode 3 review

As the beginning of the episode started I felt a great deal of empathy for Tuppence as she had to just sit and wait for Tommy to come home. And she didn't have any idea what had happened to him.
Thankfully, he returned but had to try and hide the fact that he is now working for Brown which he didn't seem to manage very well. Tuppence just followed him until he told her which I think shows courage and bravery because he had to have a big weight of having no-one to turn too to keep his son safe.

Fortunately, Tuppence had a plan and they were well on their way to delivering the Linden Tree file to Brown's men.
Sneakily, Albert and Tuppence to fit trackers onto the men's cars and they followed them, only to discover that the brakes of their car wasn't working.
This added well to the increased amount of danger and thrill of not knowing how far Mr.Brown would go.

They come home to discover that their home has been ransacked which leads them to Jane Finn's book.
The couples relationship is given a lot of changes from Tommy keeping what happened to him in Soho secret, the excitement of them realizing that they work better together and the unexpected betrayal of Peel who is revealed to be the infamous Mr.Brown. 
It was quite shocking as I was more inclined to believe that it was Julius as he was the one brandishing a gun and threatening the pair.

We find out that he is in fact Jane's lover and just following orders from Brown to find the tape recorder and destroy it. Which Tommy and Tuppence discover was hiding in with his queen bee in the Shed after they realise that, 'Anassa' is in fact translated as Queen.

I have to mention the music again as there is some fabulous twangs, twinkly soft tones that bring the adventure and chilling scenes to life, especially in the deserted warehouse where Tommy hands the file over and we see what has happened to Annette. 
My body felt very tense and I was genuinely fearing for Tommy's life with the silence, then a quick flash of torchlight illuminating a figure with a gun.

There were many twists that filled the conclusion of the story and I felt very statisfied with how it ended. I would have prefered Peel to have not killed himself but I understand why he did it.
The most exciting and thrilling aspect of this episode was the two main stars who continue to bring so much wit, warmth, comedy, love and spontaneity to the roles that I just want to see more!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Partners in Crime 'The Secret Adversary' Episode 2 Review

Well, that was an incredibly tense and nasty cliffhanger. Tommy was about to be beaten with a hammer but luckily Mr.Brown phoned just in time to give Tommy a job to do.
His son has been threatened which highlights the vicious and callous nature of these criminals.
It really feels like the opposition has been raised as we along with Tommy and Tuppence realise how dangerous these men are. 
The couple's decision to completely ignore Carter and continue with the investigation is a wonderful development as they seem to enjoy delving more into the mystery.
As the pair separate into their own little adventures, I have been able to see vulnerability and uncertainty within both of them.
Tuppence is trying to find new ways in which to sneak a peak into Rita's room that needs a set of keys to be opened, pointing out the fact that if someone locks a certain room then there is definitely something fishy going on.
Neither of them know what is going to happen and yet they still stay strong and try there best to save Jane Finn. They are scared for themselves but are willing to take the risk and there is courage and bravery in both of them.
These scenes were by far my favourite; Tuppence becoming increasingly annoyed at Rita's cat and her using a tape recording of a type writer being used just to get out of the job she is meant to be an expert in.
Tommy's undercover work is equally amusing, he doesn't show much expression that he is the Mr.Brown who everyone is afraid of. 
As he gets into his stride, I did feel for him when he had to watch whilst the man who knew he was an imposter, who was killed right in front of him.
I like the change in direction that this episode takes when Tommy and Tuppence have to drug Mr.Drennon so they can get the thousand pounds they need to give to the beastly criminals. But the money drops out of his jacket and is given to the police so they have to spontaneously have to think of a new way in which to acquire the money. 
I thought this was a clever way of dropping some reality into the story to tell its audiences that not everything goes the way you hope it will.
After the mystery of the word- 'Anassa' I am counting the days for episode 3.  

Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime Episode 1 Review- The Secret Adversary

The BBC has always produced high quality period dramas and this new adaptation of Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence  novels has really drawn me into Christie world with sparkle, gravitas and style.
Obviously, I was aware of the ITV Poirot and Marple stories but they never seem to interest me. I don't think it had anything to do with the plots themselves because I always admire writers who can create a really chilling, complex crime story.
But I have found with the Tommy and Tuppence novels in particular, it is the characters themselves that have made me actually obsessed with the show and it's characters.
Importantly, I think that is extremely valuable to have a female lead who refuses to be what society expects of her. Tuppence is independent, curious, intelligent, caring, loving and witty with this incredible love of investigating and living life as an adventure.
To me, I find that very appealing as a viewer and if there are any Agent Carter fans are out there who also watch the show, I hope you see the similarities between Peggy and Tuppence. They both know their value and they're not going to let anyone tell them otherwise which is how it should be.
In particular, I love that Tuppence is willing to masquerade as different people and put her own life in danger for the sake of her country. Not to say that Tommy doesn't do the same. I have seen some extraordinary bravery from him in this episode, those crooks he encounters are terribly creepy.
There were some fabulous flirty moments that I found hilarious because there is something so original about a married couple in the middle of solving a mystery who are then smirking at each other in the midst of almost being seriously hurt or worse- killed.
However, I think at that moment they don't really understand how much danger they are putting themselves in, either that or they are just providing some light relief for each other.
I must highlight the decision to bring this story into the 1950's. Personally, I think that it benefits the story brilliantly because if we had seen the pair when they were just starting to fall in love then I think that there would be too much focus on them and the plot would drift off into the ether.
Admittedly, it means I get to smile at the beauty of the 50's fashion- the little hats that Tuppence wears are adorable and I was very pleased to see women of the time actually wearing trousers.
Television soundtracks don't really get mentioned much but I happen to think they bring so much a story. Tim Philips (composer) has done a brilliant job at capturing the twang and swing of the 50's that fits the adventure like a delicious and compact sandwich.
I have been so engrossed into this series that I have even the novels from my library so i can enjoy more Tommy and Tuppence novels and see their journey unfold. 
Such a unique mystery/adventure series with lots of cracking characters, blissful settings and costumes.
The writing and direction has encompassed the essence of the era as have David Walliams and Jessica Raine for their characters. I feel another obsession have already brewed.