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Death Comes To Pemberley: Playing Mr Darcy

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Death Comes To Pemberley is a three-part adaptation of P.D. Jamessequel to Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride And Prejudice. Set six years after the marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy, domestic peace at Pemberley is disrupted by news of a murder. Matthew Rhys spoke to the BBC TV blog about playing the much-loved Mr Darcy.

What was it like when the lady herself – Baroness P.D. James visited you on set?

How did you feel about taking on the ‘nightmare’ role of Mr Darcy and the formal language used?

Tell us about the filming locations. Did you get any strange looks from the public whilst filming in tourist spots?

What do you think a modern-day Mr Darcy would be like and why is it that women find him so appealing?

Matthew Rhys plays Mr Darcy in Death Comes To Pemberley. Hannah King, who filmed this interview, is a researcher in BBC TV and iPlayer.

Death Comes To Pemberley is on Thursday, 26 December at 8:15pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. The series continues at 9pm on Friday, 27 December and Saturday, 28 December. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

More on Death Comes To Pemberley
BBC News: Darcy takes on murder mystery

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by shopkins0220

    on 14 Mar 2014 20:08

    I can't believe these actors were chosen to play Darcy & Elizabeth. I cringed when I saw the coming attractions. Neither one of them has any resemblance to the Pride & Prejudice characters. I'm a big fan of P&P and have loved every movie made so far but this...where was the thought in choosing these actors.

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by Lucinda Brown

    on 4 Jan 2014 22:10

    I really enjoyed this mini series, for me it was a perfect combination of flawless characters and plot. The superb acting made them really believable and easy to engage with.
    I must have read the stories many years ago.
    the locations were also very beautiful, making me long to visit Yorkshire and drink in the atmosphere for myself.
    I would love to see a full length series ! Any chance?

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by thedodopad

    on 4 Jan 2014 20:26

    I have just watched all episodes on iplayer and thoroughly enjoyed it. Matthew Rhys's Darcy was definitely as attractive as Colin Firth and I felt it was a superb sequel. (It wasn't meant to be an adaptation.) The language has to be updated, otherwise it would be like watching it in a foreign language. I remember reading a Thomas Hardy novel of the same era and spent every few minutes looking up the modern translation of the original language, which was very disruptive. Well done BBC. Worth every penny of the licence fee. (Christmas was disappointing however!)

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by SarahP

    on 4 Jan 2014 18:51

    I know Pride and Prejudice extremely well and I felt that Matthew Rhys was a perfect Darcy. The Darcy he created was just as I imagine he would be after a few years of loving marriage. He had presence and formality, as well as very believable 'softer' moments. It's not an easy task to take on there characters that are so well loved!

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by Jones

    on 2 Jan 2014 15:31

    I enjoyed this so much. I was not interested initially as the idea of a continuation of a Jane Austen story didn't sound too clever to me but how wrong I was and I wish I had read the novel. I hope Matthew Rhys knows what a perfect Darcy he created. I wish this was a series to continue. All the actors were amazing and I felt the script followed the original characters of my favourite novel so well.

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by ommadawn2000

    on 1 Jan 2014 19:34

    It wasn't the best novel PD James has ever written, and not up to Austen standards, but it was infinitely better than this production would have suggested. Of course making it a crime novel was always going to jar but at least James did it with skill, which this BBC renditon lacked.
    generally poor observation and characterisation at all levels. Elizabeth a dour, washed out, red nosed housewife with about as much wit and spark as a 3 day old herring? Darcy a boorish, bullying, fool? Clothes wrong, social practices wrong, language wrong. Nothing right in fact, I kept expecting it to improve but it didn't. They should have stuck to James version it might have worked better.

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by doglover1499

    on 1 Jan 2014 14:27

    i loved this drama but have nothing agenst the cast that did the drama but why did you not ask the origanal cast of prid and perjadas like emela fox colan firth jenafer eale who was in that it wood be so nice to see colan and jenafer rekidel the parts that evrry woman in the land wood no no one could do there parts like they did the drama was so good it was to short for me as colans one was made a lot longer so why did they do that for this one to a drama like this should go on and on it what the bbc do best to i did love the actors in it but its not the same without colan and jenafer as to me they are darcy and lize for me as you no that the first one was the one evrry woman loved i no my mum and i have watched it menny times a fan of bbc drama wood like moor of that on my tv not some rubbish we get like pontles and in it to win it and such like i wood love moor drama from you to watch

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by Mikieslife

    on 1 Jan 2014 07:12

    It is an ok show I guess. I do not find the actors to fit the rolls very well. Matthew is not masculine or commanding enough for the part. The young lady playing Elizabeth, well not to be cruel is just not pretty enough. It was always mentioned that she was pretty while her sister was to be stunning. No one in this version comes close to these descriptions. The speech pattern is just off and takes away from the realism of it all.

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by cowardlypop

    on 31 Dec 2014 21:27

    Just seen this Series twice now, once alone and just now as a continuous story with my mother.

    Have not read the book, but I don't think people should compare the book to the portrayal all the time. It tarnishes the outlook for the viewer. Well done to the BBC for putting this together, excellent casting, especially using more experienced actors together with up and coming new faces like Jena Coleman etc. Loved the story.

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  • Comment number 17. Posted by rosieposy

    on 31 Dec 2014 17:54

    Unfortunate that this adaptation did not stay true to P D James excellent book. I found myself very confused having read the book as characters were added and subtracted with gay abandon! Having said that,I thought the casting quite good, particularly Wickham and Lydia.

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