Second Episode

"'I am not your father', he replied. 'Have you no knowledge of me?'. And as he grinned his black eyes widened and in either eye there burned a star, and as the stars grew greater his fingers curled. 'I live in the Tower of Flints,' he cried. 'I am the death-owl.'"

Episode two of Gormenghast, and another hour has flown by. High point? The scene between Fuchsia and Sepulchrave -- as affecting as the same scene in the book. Low point? Steerpike's scaring of Cora and Clarice with the 'ghost' -- pathetic and far too rushed.

Steerpike is notably more aggressive and overt in his actions than in the books, where he is very sly and subtle, and careful not to reveal his true nature. In the series it is becoming hard to believe that no-one realises what he is up to, when he appears to making no effort to conceal either his attitudes or his ambitions.

Christopher Lee's portrayal of Flay gets better all the time, and I am glad to say that it looks as if I was wrong to think that the character was not transferring well to screen. Even though Flay is a man of few words, and almost everything must be conveyed through his expressions and movements, Lee's performance is moving (something of a feat given Flay's unloveable character!) and quite outstanding.

The fight between Flay and Swelter, was slightly disappointing. They missed the initial 'stalking' by Swelter (and indeed the stalking of Swelter by Flay), and the final fight itself seemed rather dull in comparison to the original.

A few quibbles, then, but on the whole it is still looking impressive.

Click here for my reactions to the third episode.

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