Archive for Sarah Sutton

The Key

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on January 19, 2016 by dcairns

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An actor friend recently said of Freddie Jones, (pictured), “I want that man to live forever.”

There are relatively few adaptations of Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (none using the original title), though filmmakers have plundered its best-known bits (Humpty) for their (usually poor) versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But there’s quite a nice version made by the BBC in 1973, starring future Doctor Who companion Sarah Sutton, who is ALMOST an acceptable age for the part, and acts quite well. A little too poised and prim as an adult, she makes those very qualities work in service of characterising a Victorian child.

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The supporting cast isn’t hugely starry, but the choices are good — Freddie Jones as the egg man is inspired, and it’s inevitable that perennially aged, aged man Geoffrey Bayldon should have a crack at the White Knight (maybe my favourite character — I can’t read his verse without tears flowing sluggish as mercury down my cheeks.

(Though regular Shadowplayer Simon Kane has pointed out that Ian Holm takes the role beyond the infinite in an otherwise rather overblown 1996 version with an impossibly over-sexy adult Kate Beckinsale.)

Overall the thing is just about funny enough — most adaptations aren’t — and plenty strange, thanks to its use of chroma-key to blue-screen in settings faintly recalling Tenniel’s illustrations. Like the novel, it’s almost too crazy, lacking the logical glue that just barely holds together the fragmented nonsense of Wonderland.

 

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