8 December 2002 | jameswj
Top quality television
I have never seen the original Doctor Zhivago film, so I can't take any prejudged bias. This mini-series is possibly the best UK mini-series I have ever seen and is a sign that perhaps the UK networks are serious about creating some top qualtiy drama television that HBO have been producing for ages!
The acting is top quality, however, Sam Neill on top form steals every scene he's in, and that's saying something with the quality around him on screen. Keira Knightley and Hans Mathieson are great young stars who would easily make the transisition to big films (although Knightley's already done a Star Wars!). Kris Marshall as Pacha is a welcome revelation, worlds away from the tired "My Family" 'comedy'.
The scene always looks great and you can see the time and effort (not to forget money!) has gone into the creation of this great series. The overall look is very convincing and there is some beautiful theatrical-quality cinematography.
The story however is what makes anything work and here the story is truly great. An epic, tragic romance set against the backdrop of a revolting Russia. The story is handled so well it's a rewarding experience and if you're a bit of a weepie, have your tissues ready!