Review of "Masterpiece: Arthur & George" From The TV MegaSite

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Masterpiece: Arthur & George


Masterpiece: Arthur & George

 Review by Suzanne Lanoue 10/8/15

I enjoyed watching this show on PBS and I reviewed it here. I'm a long-time Sherlock Holmes fan, so this is a great story. It's based on a real event where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle helped a guy out by proving that he didn't commit a heinous crime. It's based on a novel. Anyway, it's certainly great to have it on DVD, especially for anyone who collects great shows or Sherlock Holmes memorabilia.

However, I have to admit that the DVD is lacking. It has no extras or features. That's just standard for most TV show DVD's nowadays. At least there should be some deleted scenes or some commentary. I would have really liked to have heard what went on behind-the-scenes of making this show, and how it came about, and how the actors looked at things. Too bad. Maybe next time they will add more features.



Click Here to View a Preview of this Program 

Available on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Distribution September 15 

Airing on PBS Sundays, September 6-20 

Arlington, Va.August XX, 2015 – PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “MASTERPIECE: ARTHUR & GEORGE” on DVD and Blu-ray September 15, 2015. Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in a real-life case that inspired the great author to put down his pen and turn detective. This program traces a string of notorious animal mutilations alleged to involve an attorney named George Edalji.

ARTHUR & GEORGE” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray September 15, 2015. The run time of this program is approximately 180 minutes on 1 disc. The DVD SRP is $34.99 and the Blu-ray SRP is $44.99. The program will also be available for digital download.

The series is adapted from Julian Barnes’s acclaimed novel of the same name, which was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the most prestigious literary award in the English-speaking world.

Co-starring are Arsher Ali (The Missing) as George Edalji, a mixed-race solicitor living in the English Midlands; Art Malik (Upstairs Downstairs) as his Indian father, an Anglican minister; and Emma Fielding (Cranford) as his Scottish mother. Also appearing are Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey) as Alfred Wood, Sir Arthur’s private secretary; and Hattie Morahan (Sense and Sensibility) as Jean Leckie, the woman that Doyle befriended while his wife was gravely ill.

The three-part drama won plaudits from the press during its recent UK broadcast, with The Sunday Telegraph (London) hailing it as “thoroughly enjoyable ... Clunes proves exceptionally winning as the widowed writer and sometime crusader for justice, Arthur Conan Doyle, who finds a new zest for life when he comes across the curious case of George Edalji.”

The Edalji case saw an improbable defendant, mild-mannered lawyer George Edalji, convicted for mutilating a pony and, by implication, a host of other farm animals in a slashing spree known as the Great Wyrley Outrages. The anonymous misdeeds also included poison pen letters and intimidation aimed, oddly enough, at George’s family. To Doyle, the whole affair suggested blatant racism, targeting a family viewed as outsiders by the local people and officials.

ARTHUR & GEORGE opens with the illness and death of Doyle’s wife, Louisa. Wracked with guilt because he fears that Louisa suspected his attachment to another woman, Jean Leckie, Sir Arthur is at a low ebb—until he receives a letter from the recently paroled George, who wants the world-renowned author of Sherlock Holmes to help him clear his name so he can resume his legal career. 

Unfamiliar with the Edalji affair, Doyle arranges to meet George and uses a Sherlock-style observation to deduce his innocence. He takes the case but soon finds that he attracts a great deal of unwelcome attention. For instance, in calling on the trial judge, Doyle is greeted with open arms—and a stack of the judge’s Sherlock Holmes books to autograph. Turning to business, the justice sternly warns Doyle that by meddling in the case, “You will taint not only yourself ... but the world’s favorite consulting detective!”

Sir Arthur is also being tainted by his increasingly public relationship with Jean, which is deemed unseemly for such a recent widower.

With Wood acting as his Watson, Doyle uncovers a rush to judgment against Edalji that provides plenty of suspects and even a connection to the real criminal mastermind who inspired Professor Moriarty. Exasperated by the mounting twists and turns, the harried author exclaims at one point, “If this were a story, I’d change the beginning, I’d change the end, or I’d try something else!”

ARTHUR & GEORGE is a Co-Production of Buffalo Pictures and MASTERPIECE for ITV, produced in association with Fresh Jade Limited. The Producers are Philippa Braithwaite and Trevor Hopkins. The Director is Stuart Orme. The Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE is Rebecca Eaton.

The top-rated primetime show on PBS, MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer. Viking River Cruises is the exclusive corporate funder of Arthur & George on MASTERPIECE on PBS, with additional funding provided by The MASTERPIECE Trust.

About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners.

PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’s films, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming. As a multi-channel distributor, PBS Distribution offers consumers high-quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming. PBS Distribution is also a leading source for factual content for international broadcast, cable and satellite services.


Street Date: September 15, 2015

Genre: Drama

Run Time: Approx. 180 Minutes on 1 Disc

SRP: DVD $34.99 and Blu-ray $44.99

Format: DVD and Blu-ray

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Page updated 10/9/15

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