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Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 20:41

Where were we ?

Jonathan Strange enchanted in a mystical energy sapping vortex, Arabella, Lady Pole and Stephen Black are all still enchanted, Norrell is under the influence of Lacelles, and all the mirrors in England are broken. Oh, and let's not forget Vinculus swinging by his neck from a tree.

With all of this going on, someone needs to take the rap. Step forward Sir Walter Pole, who resigns from the government for releasing magic on the general public in his attempt to bring his wife back from the dead.

Speaking of Lady Pole, there's a small piece of her on the way from Strange via an ex-publicist courier. Drawlight, who is now utterly pitiful, runs into Lacelles who finishes off their partnership permanently. Despite Lacelles best efforts to hide his treachery, the battered and tatty magical  cards that Childermass owns reveal all, there's a confrontation and Childermass leaves Norrell's service with nothing more than an enchanted finger and a...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 22:24

Two Magicians.

One going bad, one going mad.

Norrell's mean streak comes to the fore. How do you stop the publication of a book to rival your own? You make every copy of it disappear. This is after he has read it of course and is moved to tears by how fantastic it is. He is now at the point of no return. He is going after Strange to stop the unleashing of the things that he wouldn’t tell anyone about...

Then he threatens the imprisoned Drawlight with magical torment if he doesn't find Strange.

What a nice chap...

On the mad front, we're in Venice, where Strange is on the run and acting out his plan to summon a fairy by making himself insane. He runs into the Greysteels, Flora and James, daughter and father, who have been visiting an acquaintance of the crazy cat lady persuasion.

Flora is captivated by magic, Strange by the madness that they describe in their tale of the “indisposed” Mrs Delgado.

Strange takes it upon himself to do...

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 19:43

And that ladies and gentlemen is how you start an episode.

Usually the Battle of Waterloo would be the climax of a show  Here we have thousands of troops, battle squares, siege, storming of castle gates etc. Some brilliant effects are in play here, money has been spent and it all shows.

In all of this carnage we find Strange at his military duty, putting out burning buildings and squishing French soldiers. The battle is won, the Napoleonic wars are over, Strange goes home. 

All the stress has taken its toll now though and all Strange wants to do is settle down with Arabella, finish his book, have a kid or two and fade into obscurity. 

Unfortunately, though, Napoleon wasn’t his only foe.

Norrell and his new best buddy Lascelles are trying to stop Strange's book because their own has suffered because of a scathing review. 

The Gentleman has summoned the sinister Moss Oak, now in the form of Arabella for nefarious purposes...

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 11:36

They should have called this Trouble and Strife.

Everyone falls out with someone. 

There's a change in emphasis this week. 

From the action driven piece last week, we get a more character based episode. Everything moves along though. Plot threads are tugged across the board. 

Firstly, Childermass is lying on a doctors table with a bullet in his torso after the assassination attempt on his master. As he moves in and out of death he's treated to a vision with a bird of ominous aspect. A raven, hmmm,I wonder what that could represent?

Lady Pole continues to be thoroughly crapped on. Since it was her shot at Norrell that hit Childermass, the general consensus is that what little sanity she had has now left, and she's away with the faeries. If only they knew. So it's off to the madhouse for the poor girl. Norrell as ever wants to remain respectable on this, and to avoid any hint that the magic is the cause, he arranges to keep her...

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 11:32

Warning!

Do not watch this program and Game Of Thrones on the same day. 

We all know that GoT has a habit of putting you through the emotional wringer on a regular basis. This show can hit you in the gut too. 

Here's a few highlights.

War, zombies, insanity, attempted suicide,slavery, attempted murder, emotional torture. 

Many things struck me after this episode, the usual high production values, outstanding performances, moral questions, and I was left at the end of the episode drained but wanting the next installment immediately. 

This is fantastic stuff. It is often said that fantasy is puerile and childish. Not GoT, not this. 

The themes are adult, the characters do terrible things. Even the good characters when they need to. 

Take Jonathan Strange. 

After some skullduggery to get him out of the way by Drawlight, he finds himself shipped off to the Peninsular War in Portugal. He's...

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 22:47

How is Lady Pole?

Alive.

Having been resurrected by Mr Norrell last week she's happy and light on her feet. Ready to dance in fact. 

This remarkable accomplishment from Mr Norrell has given him the connections to turn his talents to thwarting the dastardly Napoleon. The magic starts to get BIG. We have thousands of conjured ships blockading French ports. The British Government is delighted. Talk turns to returning dead politicians and war heroes from the grave. Decomposition could be a factor so we don't get to see Zombie Nelson!

Elsewhere, Segundus and Honeyfoot encounter Strange and the stage is set for the magicians to get together. When Strange proves his sorcerous ability Norrell is delighted. 

So a master and apprentice relationship is born, but it becomes apparent that there is a big difference in style. It's books and study versus natural talent and flair. This is nicely done . The two leads appear to be well chosen for their...

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 17:16

Welcome to an alternative history.

It's 19th century England, but not the one we're familiar with. 

There used to be magic, but it is now a non-existent curio, studied by theoretical magicians, not a single actual user has been found for 300 years. Claiming to be able to perform magic is strictly the province of charlatans.

Amateur magician John Segundus can't do magic either. His attempts fail, his peers at the local club deride his efforts. No gentleman would lower himself to even try.

Until Mr Norrell. 

Norrell is a Yorkshire scholar of magic who has self-studied himself up to practitioner level, and he's on a mission to bring spell use back to England. He's also loyal to his realm and thinks that his talents can be of use countering the nefarious Napoleon Bonaparte and his armies. 

After challenging his detractors from the local magic club, and scaring them into quitting forever, it's time to reveal this talent to the...

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