Sunday Video – Romantic Moments 9

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For those that love period drama videos, it may be wise to download your favored ones. YouTube is slowly having to enforce copyright laws on these small pieces of film found in them. Usually, they have to be removed.  However, Vimeo does not seem to be doing that yet. I am moving a lot of mine over there – others may, also.

Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Ten

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Chapter Ten

Oddly enough, I no longer felt depressed after I heard Colonel Brandon’s story. Instead, a new hope sprang and that I must go at once to find Douglas and talk to him. I had a right to hear his version of his past as well. He had better give me a well-founded reason not to marry me before I would give up trying to convince him to do so.

The next morning I again took my mare and rode to Douglas’ house, this time without Johnny or anyone else. I simply could not believe Douglas would have left Mr Twinkler behind, since he had been taking care of him from the moment he found the youth starving on his London doorstep. As usual, I was right. I found Twinkler in the house, busy with packing up his master’s belongings into two large portmanteaus. He was violently startled when I burst into the master bedroom.

“Miss? ‘Ow did yer … that is, why yer ‘ere? Guv’nor ain’t ‘ere, you know?”

I advanced on him so rashly he backed away with a guilty look in his eyes.

“Jack Twinkler, I am most irritated with you! How is it that you failed to inform me about your wretched master’s last foolish action? I thought you were my friend! Have I not proved that I am also a friend of your master’s? I cared for him when he was injured, did I not?”

“Yeah … yeah, Miss Dashwood, ye did but … it’s the guv’nor ‘oo swore me into silence about ‘is whereabouts! ‘E don’t want ye to know as ‘e cares about yer reputation an’ the likes, Miss!”

“You must tell me where you are staying, Jack! I have to talk with him!”

Jack was in a serious dilemma, I could see that. After a while, though, he seemed to give in.

“Well, if y’ insist, Miss, I suppose I could tell yer. Now, mind, ye did not ‘ear it from me, should ‘e ever ask!”

“No, no, I promise. But Jack, earlier you said you did not know anything about Mr Spencer’s past. Somehow, I do not believe that. You must have heard the gossip about him which could be different from what I learnt. So, pray, tell me.”

Jack shrugged and went on with his work while he was narrating.

“The old Lord must ‘ave been a grumbling piece of a sanctimonious bore, Miss. ‘E was always rambling on about ‘onour and dignity and the family name. No wonder ‘is son was lookin’ for a bit of fun wi’ the ladies, though, from what I’ve ‘eard, ‘e was a good lad altogether! They all liked ‘im, men and women alike and nobody that knew ‘im could believe what ‘appened wi’ the young lady. Said it was not something they think ‘e’d do! But, there ye are, Miss. Whenever a bright young thing takes an interest in ye, even the best of young men can fall into their pit. From what I ‘eard about Miss Christina Finney, she wasn’t one to say no to the young men either!”

“Do you mean she was a bit of a Cyprian, Jack?”

“Right ‘o, Miss, she was the most shameless flirt at the Torquay balls.”

“But she was only seventeen!”

“Aye! And already ‘ad a reputation when she came ter stay at the Manor! Seemed she ‘ad been at it in Liverpool too. That’s why ‘er father brought ‘er down from there. A lot of the Torquay tabby cats were gossipin’ away about ‘ow she behaved at balls, if you know what I mean, Miss.”

“Yes, I do, Jack. Sorry I pounced on you so rudely.”

“Don’t ye worry about it, Miss. Now, let me get ye that address on a piece of paper and …”

 

“No!” The word cracked like a whip and I whirled around to face him. Douglas was standing in the doorway, his bearing very rigid and forbidding and the tone in which he addressed Jack was cold.

“Go and prepare the curricle, Jack. We are leaving soon.”

The young man hastened out of the room, leaving me alone to deal with Douglas. He was livid, his face dead white and his mouth set in a thin line of intense disapproval. I knew I must hold my ground, so I trusted my chin upwards and straightened my shoulders.

“I have a bone to pick with you, Douglas Spencer!” I challenged him. “Why have you run away like a coward instead of fighting like the man I took you for?”

He covered the space between us in two long strides and suddenly towered over me but he deliberately did not touch me. His eyes bore into me in a frightening way.

“You endeavour to try the patient of a saint, Margaret Dashwood, but you will not force marriage upon me! If I am to be leg-shackled, I prefer to pick the woman myself and in my own time, thank you! Now, will you leave my house and never return? I have enough issues without you complicating my miserable life.”

There was something in his eyes that moved me to the core, a deep, desperate loneliness that he was fervently trying to subdue by being rude to me.

“Tell me about Christina Finney!” I demanded sternly, “I have a right to know.”

“Ah!” His heartfelt groan of irritation was accompanied by a movement of pure powerlessness as he threw his arms up. I laid my hands on his chest in a pleading gesture.

“I simply cannot believe that you would overpower a young, innocent girl, Douglas. You are not like that. ”

He gripped me by the shoulders and groaned.

“You do not know me, Margaret. I did … oh, God! Will you not leave me alone? Why do you persist in making it so difficult for me?”

“It is your own doing if I do not know you, Douglas! Tell me how it was between you and that girl. Tell me everything. How did you meet? Was she not from the North?”

With a sigh, Douglas let himself down into a chair and I did the same.

“Jeremy Finney came to Watcombe Manor at the request of my father who wanted him to invest in the estate. The deal was they would try and establish new agricultural techniques in order to increase yields and raise profits. I was with them when they talked but my mind was not in it. Instead, all I could think of was the pretty Miss Christina, who had come with Mr Finney. She was his only daughter and heir and she was … she was like a ray of sunshine to me; beautiful, lively, full of joy. From the start, we got on extremely well together. We enjoyed long rides on the estate, outings to Torquay, balls and parties. Of course, she was a success! Every young unmarried gentleman wanted to bask in her brilliant light and, just like me, they were all enchanted by her.”

“So she liked to hold court, then?”

“Of course, she did. What would be more natural?”

“She was only seventeen at the time. Had she been brought out yet?”

That seemed to astonish Douglas very much.

“No, I do not think so. Her father was still planning her season when they came to Watcombe Manor.”

“When I was seventeen I was extremely shy, Douglas. I would not have known what to do if a gentleman should address me, let alone treat me like I was something out of the ordinary. It seems to me that Miss Finney was already much accustomed to the ways of Society, even at her tender age.”

“I must stop you there, Margaret. Christina was not the villain in this piece, I was. I was the one incapable of restraint when it was expected.”

“So, when and where did this … event take place, then?”

All of a sudden, Douglas’ face turned beet red and my heart lurched with a bolt of tenderness for him. Was it possible for a man, thought a rake, to feel so ashamed by an action that took place in his youth?

“Well?” I pressed, watching him grow reluctant.

“In the stables … after we came back from a ride. It was a hot, sultry afternoon and we … we took care of the horses first. I accidently spilled water on Christina’s dress and …”

The memory seemed to choke him and I felt a stab of genuine jealousy for Christina Finney to have bewitched Douglas so hard.

“And …” I finished the sentence for him, “she looked very fetching in her clinging garments and you lost your head.”

“Yes!”

He abruptly rose from his chair and stalked to the window where he leaned his face against the glass.

I did not speak as I understood he was extremely upset by the memories of that episode. I, however, considered Christina Finney to be the luckiest woman on earth since she was able to unleash that kind of feelings in Douglas.

“Are you satisfied now? Was this what you wanted, Margaret, for me to bear my soul like that?”

I refused to be provoked and instead inquired in a level voice:

“Did she try to stop you when you … ?”

In exasperation, he whirled around.

“You never give up, do you? No, of course not! She loved me, you know! She wanted this as much as I did!”

“Yet she claimed afterwards that you forced yourself upon her. That does not sound like love to me.” I sounded threatening despite myself.

“She was young and confused, frightened maybe. Her father would have harassed her to know the baby’s father.”

“Are you certain it was yours? She might have had other lovers. What about her life before she came to Torquay? Maybe she had a love interest, perhaps back in Liverpool?”

Douglas’ reaction was far from what I expected. He turned so pale I thought he would faint. His hands clenched, and his whole body seemed to stiffen as if he readied himself for a blow. A faraway stare in his eyes told me that he had become aware of the possibility Christina cheated on him. Waiting in sudden anxiety I watched him, again experiencing jealousy towards the girl whom he had loved so long ago. I loved him right then and there. Would my love have the power to make him forget Christina?

“It was all so long ago,” Douglas said with a sudden shrug. “I was very blind at the time and would not have noticed if others caught her attention.”

“It may be from long ago, Douglas, but it is still haunting you. You need to give your life a turn for the better. Marry me and retrieve your estate. It is your rightful place in life.”

He looked me in the face again, cold and detached.

“I have no rightful place, Meg. Unless I uncover the truth about Christina, I will be an outcast. Forget me, sweet Meggie. There is no future for us.”

The use of that abbreviation of my name went right to my heart and I acted upon it.

He would have gone through the door if I had not barred the way and stopped him by pushing hard against his chest using both my hands.

“Look me in the eye and repeat that, Douglas Spencer!”

Standing on the tip of my toes, relinquishing all pride, I flung my arms around his neck and said, “Say it. Say that you do not love me and never did and …”

His mouth was on mine even before I had a chance to finish that sentence. I had never been kissed before so I did not know what to expect. A bolt of lightning pierced my body, scorching a path from head to toe when his hard lips crushed mine. His arms encircled me like a vice, my breasts painfully meeting  the steel wall of his chest. A spilt second later his tongue invaded my mouth, exploring it with a hunger that equally frightened and delighted me. I only wanted to press my body closer to his and run my hands through the silkiness of his hair. I longed to abandon myself completely to him. I could feel the reaction of Douglas’ body as he deepened our kiss. My own response made my head spin with a need I never knew existed within me. God in Heaven ..!

With a grunt, Douglas threw me upon the bed where I lay like a wounded bird, panting and aching all over. Slowly as my vision cleared I found myself alone in the room. Douglas was gone.

“Douglas!” My cry of despair rang in my ears and echoed in the empty room. I bolted out into the courtyard where I saw my rake swing himself onto Dragon’s back. He disappeared in a cloud of dust, oblivious of my pleading shouts to return.

For a few moments, I felt nothing but despair and loss as I crumbled to the yard’s dusty surface. Sobs raked through my chest until rage for what he had done to me overcame them; he had invited me to Heaven and in the space of mere minutes banned me from it.

Jack Twinkler came to offer me comfort but he became the obvious recipient of my fury and I grabbed him by the lapels of his coat.

“Where are you hiding yourselves, Jack? Tell me now and do not try and deceive me!”

 

 

 

Outlander * Could The Starz Drama Be Cable’s Next Global Hit?

 

In a little over two months, US premium cable network Starz will debut their new “epic” Outlander.

The drama is based on the novel series by Diana Gabaldon and tells the story of Claire Randall, a combat nurse from World War 2 who suddenly “falls through time” and finds herself in 1743. The cast lined up for Outlander includes, amongst others, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

A television adaptation has taken years to come to fruition and now that it has, under the stewardship of veteran producer Ronald D. Moore, there is a strong chance that Outlander will, as Sony Pictures Television’s execs expect, go global.

The drama received strong marks from international buyers at the LA Screenings last month and it has already started racking up sales, with Australia’s Foxtel having already acquired Outlander from Sony earlier this year. There have also been persistent rumours that a UK deal is close to being finalised.

So what is it about Outlander that is driving the series’ chances of going global? TVWise takes a look at the 5 key factors.

16 Episode Commitment

It’s a rarity that cable series’, be they basic cable or premium cable, go global – especially during their first season. Most will do OK sales in key markets, but locking down sales in 120+ territories is a hard task to accomplish. A key reason for that is that cable series, especially from a premium cable network like Starz, tend to top out at 10 episode per season, with 8 being the standard order for a first season (just as it was for Da Vinci’s Demons and the about-to-premiere Power). International buyers tend to prefer the larger orders of network series (20+ episodes) for their schedules, and as such some cable series have a hard time internationally until their second or third seasons (exceptions to this include CBS’ Under The Dome, which despite a cable size order did well, thanks, in no small part, to having Stephen King’s name attached). The size of the order for Outlander, falling somewhere in-between at 16 episodes, is rather appealing to buyers, especially as its size signifies Starz’s confidence in the show.

Romeo and Juliet 2013

From Julian Fellows.

I just rented this and found it lovely. Perhaps, you will, too.

William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of love and tragedy gets a 21st century makeover in this update starring Douglas Booth as Romeo, and Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet. Directed by Carlo Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent) and adapted by Julian Fellowes, Romeo & Juliet finds the innocent young lovers caught up in a bitter feud between their warring families, the Montagues and Capulets. Determined not to let the sins of their families’ turbulent pasts stand in the path of true love, Romeo and Juliet run away to wed in secrecy. Alas, happiness was not to come, for in time the flames of their youthful passion will consume them both. Paul Giamatti, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Stellan Skarsgard co-star.

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Romeo & Juliet

Sue Johnston to join Downton Abbey as lady’s maid

Sue Johnston Sue Johnston’s TV credits include Lapland, The Royle Family and Coronation Street

The Royle Family actress Sue Johnston is the latest star to join series five of ITV’s Downton Abbey in a guest role.

She will play Denker, a lady’s maid to Dame Maggie Smith’s character, the Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Johnston, who has also appeared in Waking the Dead and Coronation Street, joins new stars Richard E Grant and Anna Chancellor, both of whom will play guests of the Granthams at Downton.

The hit period drama will return to screens this autumn.

Series four of the show, which followed the wealthy Grantham family and their servants, achieved an average of 11.9 million viewers in the UK.

Dame Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey Johnston will play a new lady’s maid for Dame Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess

The very British drama has also been a huge hit in the US, winning both Emmy Awards and Golden Globes.

More than 26 million viewers watched series four on Masterpiece on PBS, making it one of the highest rating shows on American television.

Previous high profile guest stars include Shirley Maclaine who played Martha Levinson, Lady Grantham’s mother, and Oscar-nominated actor Paul Giamatti who appeared in last year’s Christmas special as her “maverick, playboy” son.

Series five will also feature 24 star Rade Sherbedgia as a Russian refugee who has fled the revolution after World War 1.

Earlier this year, executive producer Gareth Neame promised it would have “all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy”.

AMC Sets Premiere Date For ‘Hell On Wheels’ Season 4 * USA

The fourth season of AMC’s western drama will premiere on Saturday August 2nd at 9/8c, the network announced today.

Created by Joe and Tony Gayton, Hell On Wheels revolves around Cullen Bohannon, a former confederate soldier who travels west to the construction site of the first transcontinental rail road. However, Bohannon’s journey is not that of a former soldier looking for work. He is on a mission to avenge the death of his wife and son who were murdered by Union soldiers, whom he has tracked to the construction of Union Pacific’s railroad. The drama series is produced by eOne and stars Anson Mount, Common, Colm Meaney, Dominique McElligott, Tom Noonan, Ediie Spears, Ben Ester and Phil Burke.

In the show’s fourth season civilization makes its way west with the railroad, bringing with it men who attempt to do with their pens what rougher men did in seasons past with their guns.  Conflict between government and big business, ranchers, homesteaders and the railroad will continue to define the drama as all of those interests compete with one another for control of Cheyenne, Wyoming, the “Magic City of the Plains,” and the most important railroad hub in the country

The network said that the fourth season will run in two parts, with this first ten episodes airing through October 4th. The drama will then take a brief hiatus and return with the final three episodes from Saturday November 8th. “We’re thrilled to bring ‘Hell On Wheels’ back for another season. Its success on Saturday night reflects the strength and broad appeal of the show, and we’re incredibly excited to share the continuation of this story with the millions of loyal ‘Hell On Wheels’ fans,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s executive vice president of original programming, production and digital.

Outfitting ‘Outlander’ for 18th Century Scotland

 

Gary Lewis, Caitriona Balfe and Graham MacTavish in “Outlander.”

Photo By Nick Briggs/2014 Sony PicturesTelevision

The Starz cable network has become known for lavish historical dramas like “Spartacus” and “Magic City.” Its latest, “Outlander,” presented a greater challenge, at least for the costume designer, in that its setting is 18th century Scotland.

 

 

Set to air Aug. 9, the Sony TV-produced series is based on the popular bestselling “Outlander” novels by Diana Gabaldon, which have developed a cult following worldwide. The story line follows Claire Randall, an independent and modern nurse who mysteriously goes back to a century where women were treated as property. In what ignites into a passionate relationship, she is forced to marry the Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser in order to save her life. But here lies the dilemma: Her heart is torn between two very different men — the suave English husband she left behind and the romantic Scot.

Costumed by Terry Dresbach, who is married to executive producer Ronald D. Moore, the series aims to stay true to authentic Scottish apparel as well as hairstyles of the era. Asked what her biggest challenge was prepping for her role, Caitriona Balfe, who plays Randall, replied, “Getting my hair permed, because the character had very curly hair. Oh, and the costumes were so heavy, really heavy wool, almost the equivalent of wearing a heavy blanket. Scotland is such a cold, wet place.”

Balfe described her costumes for the freshman 16-episode series, which finishes filming its second season in Scotland in August, as ranging from “stylish, comfortable clothes of the Forties to a real pain of being all tied up in unacceptable corsetry” of the 1700s.

Learning how to wrap a kilt the Highlander way was the biggest challenge for Sam Heughan, who plays Fraser. He said getting the authentic kilt formula was serious business for the series.

“She went back to the original materials and used berries to create the colors and tartans,” Heughan said, referring to designer Moore. “Different clans didn’t go out of their way to create specific colors. They just used the plant life around them, and it all blended very well with the background. It was great camouflage.”

The garments had other strategic uses as well. “Kilts were used as a shield wrapped around the arm, and the wool would keep you warm. Even when the wool would get wet, it didn’t get you wet,” the actor continued. “Highlanders used to soak their tartans in water, and it would freeze on them and act like a protective igloo.”

The historically accurate costume design created difficulties for the actor as well.

“I had to go to a few weeks of boot camp to learn how to wear a kilt and ride horses,” Heughan said. Still, “Riding in a kilt is far more comfortable than riding in trousers, because of all of the padding.”