What to Watch: Dr. Thorne, Not An Obvious Downton Sequel

Brie & Hollander star in Amazon Dr. Thorne

Brie & Hollander star in Amazon Dr. Thorne

Are you looking for something to binge watch this summer vacation? Are you a big Anthony Trollope fan? (Who is that? He’s novel series Chronicles of Barsetshire is a staple of collegiate reading made up of 6 really good books.) Are you a sucker for period drama tv shows? 

Some websites are describing the new Amazon mini series by Julian Fellows (creator of Downton Abbey) as, if you love Downton Abbey then you will love Fellows new Amazon show Dr. Thorne. 

I just finished the mini series and my first reaction to such a statement, that’s a big stretch based on the overall product of the series. If you are a fan of complicated and intertwined story lines, rich in drama. Then Dr. Thorne is not your go to show. Based on the Anthony Trollope's short novella by the same name. While I liked the book growing up, the show is a little underwhelming. My take on the problems with the series is namely the horrible casting the show. Don't get me wrong I have been a fan of Tom Hollander ever since he played a Spanish exchange student on Absolutely Fabulous. Another A-list actor recruited by Fellows for the cast is Ian McShane. Let's be honest, McShane is one the heavy weights of the acting craft. His handicap is being too trained or too talented and from time to time, his portrayals go a little overboard. Sadly this notch in his filmography is one of those blips. Sadly the remainder of the cast is just a series of wrong casting. For example the character Miss Dunstable played by the delightful Alison Brie most certainly would have been a better suit for the role of Mary Thorne. I think Fellows was off his game in casting this new chapter in his career. I love his idea of bringing some of Anthony Trollope's lesser known works to life. Sadly, this attempt was a miss.

So if you are still looking for the really great series to Bing watch this summer. And you are a huge fan of Downton Abbey. Might I suggest you take a crack atGrantchester instead. It’s more like Downton meets Gosford Park, the movie that started this whole obsession.