Welcome to my Journal

Hi there!

Although the dorsetgirl identity is mainly my fandom persona, I do use it to post comments in a variety of places, so if you've arrived here from a non-fandom location, welcome!

This journal nowadays contains mainly the occasional rant or rambling about life in general, but further back much of it is fanfic, some of which is of an explicit nature. Please do not read on unless you're comfortable with that.

The then-future date on this entry was originally set to June 23, 2017, 08:52. This was important to a fic but I can't remember the exact details right now so I'm just recording it here for the new future...

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Reaction Posts - Links

For the first time in years, I've been watching a lot of drama, and I've been posting notes here. This is a list of reaction posts. It is no coincidence that all these shows star Sean Bean.


5. Sharpe's Honour
6. Sharpe's Gold
7. Sharpe's Battle
8. Sharpe's Sword

15. Sharpe's Challenge Part 1, Sharpe's Challenge Part 2 [Full 2 x 68-minute version on Netflix]
16. Sharpe's Peril [Full 2 x 68-minute version but currently with some timing issues from the 100-minute version on Netflix]


1.01 Pilot - Lincoln Dittmann
1.02 Chemistry - Martin Odum
1.03 Lords of War - Dante Auerbach

The Frankenstein Chronicles

1.01 A World Without God
1.02 Seeing Things
1.03 All the Lost Children
1.04 The Fortunes of War
1.05 The Frankenstein Murders
1.06 Lost and Found
2.01 Prodigal Son
2.02 Not John Marlott
2.03 Seeing the Dead
2.04 Little Boy Lost
2.05 The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
2.06 Bride of Frankenstein


2.01 The Time of Two Engines
2.02 Smolder to Life
2.03 A Great Odyssey
2.04 A Single Trade
2.05 Keep Hope Alive
2.06 Many Miles from Snowpiercer
2.08 The Eternal Engineer
2.09 The Show Must Go On
2.10 Into the White

Medici - Season 2 - the Magnificent

2.03 Obstacles and Opportunities
2.04 Blood With Blood
2.05 Ties That Bind
2.06 Alliance
2.07 Betrayal
2.08 Mass

Inspector Morse Ep 6.04, 1992 Absolute Conviction

A Woman's Guide to Adultery 3-part tv series, 1993

~ ~ ~

Sharpe's Sword - Reaction Post

I mean, really, a Major, and Sergeant and TWO MEN? Talk about all bloody chiefs and no Indians.

9:45 "Bird in the hand, Sir?" says Hagman. Lass is clinging onto Sharpe and he looks terrified lol.

11:30 Sean is looking particularly fine here. I think this is the episode with the bagpipes, and there's a scene where he for some reason just looks perfect.

25:50 "When I come back," Sharpe says to Lass, "I want you in my bed. Um, not like that." OMG it hurts to laugh out loud silently.

27:55 Colonel Berkeley is a complete waste of space.

33:55 That is the weirdest cover-up of his Blades tattoo I've ever seen. No effort to make it look like a wound which is what they normally do. It just looks like a covered up tattoo. Really though, why cast a man with a tattoo you don't want to show, and then have him take his shirt off every ten seconds.

35:10 Another example of Tom Clegg's world-building style of direction, which I really like. The column comes to a halt and Sharpe is down the road in the distance somewhere. Then he's actually obscured by Colonel Berkeley and Jack while they're talking, and he just kind of wanders up and joins the group, all in one take. Which is much more realistic, but a lot of directors always have The Star stuck in the centre of the frame rather than seeing their world as it is. It makes sense in this context for Sharpe to be excluded in the background somewhere, because he's junior to Berkeley rank-wise and to Jack socially.

36:50 Simmerson makes it plain he's not impressed to see Sharpe, and Harper automatically and without fanfare steps up to stand at Sharpe's shoulder.

37:35 OMG the social freedom you have when you're a Lord, to be fucking rude to everyone even though you're only a captain.

39:20 See, I don't think people take much notice of what Sean's doing in this part, because they only see the action, the running about being a hero, but he's fully immersed in the part at every second. At this moment he's showing sadness, shock and anger at Leroux killing Berkeley's aide and I'd swear there's a hint of anger that they didn't listen to him when he's said all along he didn't trust Leroux.

Rompe su libertad condicional - breaks his parole.

47:50 Sharpe looks really upset by that song Father Curtis just sang. "Made me think of my wife." Again with the full-on acting in every tiny moment. Sean works so hard in this show, the camera is on him nearly all the time.


49:20 Night attack on the fort - is this where Sharpe gets his serious injuries?

55:55 So Daragh actually is big enough and strong enough to put Sean over his shoulder and carry him. I can't remember the exact words Linda Blandford used to describe him, but it was along the lines of "brick shithouse" whereas she called Sean skinny.

57:15 It's a bit stupid the way they're bigging up how Lass can look after him better than Harper. All she's doing is stroking his face, while Harper would be doing something useful like getting him cleaned up.

1:03:15 In this scene with Simmerson, Lass actually doesn't look completely gormless. She looks intelligent and angry.

1:14:20 Aw, the look on his face when he handles the new sword Harper has made for him. Wonderment. And the affectionate smile on his face when he says "You're a lying bastard, Harper."

1:16:05 Jack has brought Munro and the cannon, but he can see immediately that Sharpe knows. I've known since before I started watching this (because I saw the next scene in a clip) that Jack was a spy for the French, so it's not clear how obvious it would be to an unspoilt viewer what just happened.

1:21:40 I like that Sharpe knows exactly what an officer should do with Jack, and he also knows - despite not being a gentleman - exactly what a gentleman would do with him, but still takes it for granted he will make his own decision on what to do. He doesn't know yet what that will be, but it's intrinsic in him that he will make the choice for himself, not just follow tradition or precedent. Such a strong and stubbornly independent character.

1:22:10 "I'm sending in the South Essex [to the fort] before sunset". In other words, with the demise of Colonel Berkeley he has taken on total command of the South Essex, not just the tiny remains of his riflemen. But we haven't been shown that at all. We haven't seen him talking to them, we haven't even bloody seen them. One of the ways in which lack of budget compromises the story, but I'd still rather that than having the whole thing Hollywood-ised. I think the fact that it is so very British is one of the things I like about it. It does get tedious having to put up with American accents and ways of doing things all the time and British actors always being the villain because they're Other.

1:24:10 He's suddenly gone all RP when he tells Sergeant Harper to form the line. Maybe that's part of his idea of how to be A Proper Officer.

1:25:45 This thing with sending Jack off all alone is ridiculous. Surely if the idea is to put steel up the men it would work better if they all charged after him? Harper doesn't look impressed. This is painful to watch and again, fucking ridiculous. I don't believe any officer would send a captain off on his horse ALL ALONE like that. At least have him heading a Forlorn Hope or something.

1:27:25 "I want that flag". The one you HAD until two minutes ago, when you sent Jack off alone with it? That flag? "Who's with me?" Are you asking them or giving them a fucking order? This whole scene is just stupid. The basic idea, of sending Jack in first, is a good one, but it's very poorly executed here. By Sharpe, I mean, not the director. So that's the screenwriter then.

1:31:25 So Sharpe and Harper are standing right in front of the line when he orders them to fire. In the books he and Harper fall to the ground as he gives the order.

1:35:40 Interesting how he looks so much younger, weaker and less robust/formidable as soon as he takes the jacket off.

1:36:35 This fight scene is unusual in that it clearly shows them both in pain and exhausted, rather than being superheroes. Sharpe is favouring the abdominal wound. I guess we have to assume the ball was spent and didn't actually rupture his intestines else he'd definitely be dead. And when he's won he drops to his knees like the strings were cut, rather than strutting around triumphantly.

1:38:10 Father Curtis is an interesting character and well played by *looks it up* John Kavanagh.

1:38:45 Such tenderness in his face there.

1:40:05 That's unusual - we just saw the look-back from in front of Sharpe so he's turning away from us not towards us. I don't like it.

Medici the Magnificent - ep 2.07 Betrayal - Reaction Post

Really, that’s the best they could do for young Francesco? (Not sure how I didn’t notice before what a terrible match this boy is for Matteo Martari. Maybe I had no idea who he was supposed to be. I didn’t know in this scene either until young Lorenzo called him Francesco.)

“...manoeuvring for position like men always do...” Thank you, Lucrezia, saying it like it is.

“The alliance will hold, mother. The cities will honour it.” Ah, Lorenzo, honourable, or just naive?

“Cut 6 inches off a leg. A stool is still a stool, yes? But would you sit on it?” Just let Lucrezia run things already. And get her to organise women to run all the other banks and cities. Mind you, there wouldn’t be a programme then, because everything would just run peacefully.

FFS We’re FIVE MINUTES IN before we get the episode title.

Very obvious “mood” lighting in this scene, all dark and dodgy.

That’s one hell of a torch this guy has.

Now I was not expecting that. Clarice has turned up in Rome to meet the Pope instead of Lorenzo. What a great woman she is.

I still hate Salviati. Just thought I’d mention that. Quite apart from being a sneaky manipulative bastard he has an annoyingly smug face.

Lorenzo has authorised his uncle, Father Carlo, to represent him. Did Assassin Guy do Carlo as well?

“No snub was intended.”
“I do hope you don’t live to regret it.” Damn it Jacopo, don’t beat about the bush, say what you really mean lol.

I know Sforza junior is only 7 years old, but he’s surely been educated and trained to this position and Jacopo is being extremely patronising. You don’t treat the Duke of Milan as a little boy. Even if he *is* a little boy.

Ah, that’s where Carlo is.

I wish I knew this guy’s name. He really is a piece of work. If Carlo tells Clarice what’s going on she will need to be killed, but Bad Guy doesn’t kill women so he’d have to give her to his men to deal with. Always so important to have morals.

This Pope is still the best-looking churchman ever.

“He’s going to poison you.” Hmm, that’s actually quite a good story, but is the Pope actually going to believe it? I mean, Lorenzo is famous for being the good guy, yes?

Fuck, this is actually a clever plan. Send the Pope’s nephew the Archbishop to talk to Lorenzo, and because he’s only 17 he’ll need a bodyguard and a large retinue. So that’s how they’re going to get their army into Florence.

Jesus. SIX HUNDRED fully-armed men.

“Be a more ruthless sinner than your enemy.” Given the kind of people lined up against the Medici, that’s probably very sound advice from Giuliano there.

Not sure who the guy is that just looked like he was going to hug Jacopo. Jacopo held him off pretty sharpish and doesn’t look to me like he trusts him.

Jacopo says they can’t trust Guglielmo, but it looks to me like he doesn’t trust Francesco either.

So Carlo is trying to get his message across, by addressing a letter to Clarice in Latin which he knows she doesn’t speak. Come on, Lorenzo, let’s hear *exactly* what it says.

Wow, the building up of tension in this scene is incredible.

“When a professional shipwright refuses to come aboard, think twice before setting sail.” Nice metaphor. Jacopo presumably isn’t too fussed aobut his own immortal soul, which would surely be irreparably damaged by ordering a murder in a cathedral.

Looks like Francesco has decided to warn Guglielmo after all.

One may smile and smile and be a villain. Francesco is checking Lorenzo for body armour.

Sharpe's Battle - Reaction Post

Makes me grin *every time* to see Sean Bean's name come up on that note from the electric guitar.

This one's written by Russell Lewis, who did Challenge and Peril. Look out for Sharpe and Harper being implausibly erudite...

I may be at an advantage in not having read most of the books in years. Some of the comments under this video complain about the episode being nothing like the book.

Lt Jenkins is dicing with his life here, telling Sharpe he's read the map wrong. Sharpe doesn't seem to like him to start with.

8:10 Surely they could have found more than one village to film in? Isn't this the same one where Skillicorn got his chicken in Gold, and where they flew the gonfalon of Santiago in Rifles?

11:10 Loup: "The chief weapon of the guerrilla is horror." He's not actually wrong, of course, but this is Sharpe he's talking to, and Sharpe would gut anybody, whichever side they were on, who did such things. For a violent and vengeful bastard he has a very strong sense of honour and his duty to protect the weak. He's all about "a soldier fights for those who cannot fight for themselves" and by definition anyone committing horrors CAN fight for themselves. But he gets himself in a lot of trouble for it.

13:10 "Put ''em up against a wall. I want a firing squad." Totally illegal, probably a war crime, if they had the concept then, but so was what they did. And all of Sharpe's men run forward to be part of the firing squad.

14:50 Lt Jenkins doesn't know Sharpe very well yet. "Sir? Were you supposed to do that?"

15:05 Kiely even manages to look arrogant by the way he's sitting his horse - something about the way he's got his right hand on his hip rather than the rein. Though I think in Peril Sharpe rides one-handed - what does he do with the other hand?

15:15 Definitely a bit I haven't seen before. Sharpe and his men sitting on the road as Kiely and the Real Compania Irlandesa come riding up. I love Sharpe, he is so fucking insolent to his so-called betters and he just doesn't give a shit. I'm not convinced it's a good idea to allow his men to laugh at Kiely though, they're definitely outside the rules there.

Rodeenos - go round (us)
nos rodeara - you'll go round (us)

16:40 Munro has what I believe is known as a shit-eating grin inadequately concealed while Sharpe is being informed of his new command.

17:00 "They're soft" => "son suaves". Wellington tells Sharpe to "Come down on them as hard as you like. Give them hell." For some reason Wellington and Munro actually WANT them to desert.

17:30 "You'll find him in town - at the Rat & Harlot, most likely". The Spanish subtitles haven't bothered with that bit...

18:00 Munro has a good sense of humour. "Capital - we're sending a regicide to take on a royal bodyguard lol."

18:50 Sean's looking particularly fine in this scene - slightly lighter-hearted expression than usual.

19:15 Lots of complicated work with the eyes here. I think he's trying to avoid actually rolling them.

21:55 Why is Munro in civvies?

22:10 Sharpe's just trying to avoid pissing himself laughing at this point. A wonderful expression on his face. It's a pity he's so serious most of the time.

25:50 "I don't care what army an officer fights for, what colour coat he wears, or what King he serves." Ain't that the truth. It makes him an asset and a liability and Wellington knows how to use him.

26:00 He is honestly totally out of order here, unless his aim is to give the RCE a bit of sparkle, a bit of hope, by bringing down their officers a bit.

27:40 Lol apparently Ramona comes from a culture that sees nothing wrong in leaving a man alone in a room with an unconscious woman. Not only that, but she tells him to loosen her clothes. Hmm, I see a bit of aggro in his near future. It is so good to be watching bits I've never seen before, and I will be sad when there are none left.

32:15 Kiely with the classical references that Sharpe has never heard of. If there's one thing he hates it's having it rubbed in his face that he is ignorant. Because in many ways, compared to the gentlemen officers, he actually is.

49:30 Harper: "These lads wanted to see you." What, no "sir"? Harper never forgets that. Ah, it's about the English killing people in Ireland, and he's predisposed to believe it, which is going to have an effect, even in his dealings with Sharpe.

53:00 The Doña Juanita is one fucking piece of work.

56:15 WTF game is Munro playing? Why does he want the RCE all to die?

56:35 Rifleman Moore seems to be featuring in this one much more than in the others. I don't recall noticing him much in earlier ones but he's in practically every general background shot in this one.

1:03:00 I've just thought - it's taken me a while - what is the point of having the bullet and powder combined in a cartridge if the first thing the men have to do is bite the whole thing apart in order to get a bit of the powder for the pan?

1:08:35 That's a bloody sideways compliment from Runciman to Sharpe "You're not as stupid as you look." Sharpe's doing the controlled blinking and looking to the side again to stop himself rolling his eyes. I'm not sure I've ever seen that expression before this episode, but he's done it a couple of times with Runciman.

1:19:20 Now this is a bit I never even suspected existed. Lady Kiely is kidnapped by one of the RCE and taken to Loup at the behest of bloody Dona Juanita.

1:24:15 Kiely actually seems to care about Sharpe.

1:25:45 "otherwise we're all dead men". Just spotted Harper having the idea about them playing dead. In book!Eagle it was Sharpe's idea.

1:27 ish - Sharpe gets it in the left arm yet again.

1:28:35 This is quite clever. I'd be dismayed at the way all Sharpe's men are down if it weren't for the fact that this rings a vague bell - maybe I've seen the next bit in a clip, where they all rise up. It's also very similar to what Sharpe did in book!Eagle at Valdelacasa that didn't make it into the show.

Death of Perkins - I was expecting Sharpe to recite Over the Hills and Far Away, but he wasn't even there. Dan sang a bit of it. Interestingly, what was most moving about it was how upset the other characters were. Frankly though, Perkins acted it better than Beauclere, but Sharpe at Beauclere's side will probably never be beaten.

1:33:20 God, it's very dramatic, this one. And now here comes Sharpe, and as always he's injured just before taking on an expert swordsman to the death.

1:33:45 I've just noticed that the buttons - the silver balls - on Loup's uniform are massive lol.

1:34:50 Sean's very good at acting his characters acting. Sharpe looking very nervous here on the wrong end of this sword fight, but it doesn't quite look right, and indeed it turns out he's got his sword right there ready to go the moment Loup leans over him for the killing blow.

1:36:15 Looks like Sean's got eyeliner on here when he's talking to Wellington. Weird.

1:36:25 They were dealt with => fueron muertos

1:36:45 "Think yourself lucky you're not facing a court of enquiry". "On what charge, my Lord?" "On any charge I damn well please. I made you, Sharpe, and I can break you just as easily." WTF is that about? Though Sharpe doesn't look too upset.

1:37:40 Dios te bendiga - God bless you.

1:39:30 Blimey, Sharpe actually says some words over the grave of Perkins and Miranda. "He was a brave soldier. And she was his lass." Is it only Harris and Hagman they've got left now? Really? They're the only ones at the grave with Sharpe and Harper. Sharpe has been wearing his hat - his shako - more in this episode than I've ever seen before. Do we have a completely different director in this one or something? I thought Tom Clegg did them all.

1:40:15 There's literally only four of them walking away as the ending music plays - Sharpe, Harper, Harris and Hagman. And we're only on episode 7. Mind you, he only started with 5 Riflemen in the tv series, unlike the books, but what's happened to Cooper and Tongue?

1:40 For Hagman's song as the walk up the inevitable hill at the end, the Spanish subtitles for the verse don't match what he's singing.

He's singing:
If I should fall to rise no more
As many comrades did before
Ask the fifes and drums to play
Over the hills and far away

The subtitles say:
Quiero volver a ver a mi novia
Antes que estos atribulados dias terminen
Quiero encontrar un tambor para tocar
En las colinas y en la lejanía

Medici the Magnificent - ep 2.06 Alliance - Reaction Post

I still can’t get used to the idea of a Pope running trade schemes and politicking left right and centre. Though I suppose even in this country (UK) the Church had huge influence into the 19th century.

Whoever’s playing Sforza is doing a good job of showing a man who is powerful enough that he doesn’t need to go round puffing and shouting about how powerful he is.

Feels weird finding a Pope hot tbh but Raoul Bova nails it.

I still hate Salviati.

Oh hi there Sean Bean - Happy Birthday!

Jacopo: “Gonfaloniere Petrucci - are you not supposed to remain neutral?”
Pazzi’s got a point, but the lack of neutrality was in the tone of voice, not the question itself imo. What else *should* Lorenzo have done?

OMG that wicked slow smile of Jacopo’s does - things - to my insides. 😳

So Giuliano is going to talk to his mistress’ husband, and Francesco is going to talk to his own ex-mistress’s husband. Happy families. Clarice doesn’t look impressed.

Is it consumption she has? She seems to go downhill too quickly for that.

Simonetta’s the only one with any sense. Giuliano isn’t exactly offering her a life of comfort and security somewhere her husband can’t get her, is he.

Oh dear, Soderini. You go conspiring with powerful men to kill other powerful men you have to expect it to bite you in the bum one day.

“You got power too young, because you stole it from a weak father. And now you abuse it. Money buys many things, but not humility.” Lorenzo’s not the only one with the fine words.

Clarice needs to pull her hair back a little bit at the sides, it’s a bit droopy like that.

Trying to decide whether this scene between Clarice de Medici and Lucrezia Ardinghelli is a major pass for the Bechdel Test. Yes, they’re talking about Lorenzo, but in the context of what he’s trying to do for the city.

I’m always puzzled by the practice of handing over little leather drawstring bags of money. It happens in quite a lot of programmes and no-one ever counts it - was there a fixed amount in there?

Who’s Francesco talking to there? Ah, Simonetta’s lady’s maid. But WHY?

You can always tell who’s the “romantic lead” because they’re always posing around with their shirt off. 😂
Or maybe this one:,,/20140601/ODIxNDgzMGE3NzA,/p/2560/adulza.jpg

Honestly, having had the strength to break it off with Giuliano, why not finish the job properly by telling her husband what he wants to hear? She might just as well have stayed with him.

Brilliant delivery by Bradley James as Giuliano - “I don’t have time for this.” *deep sigh*

Nice clear explanation there from Giuliano. Sforza needs to agree to the treaty or they’re all screwed.

And you just *know* what’s about to happen to Soderini. Jacopo doesn’t hang about.

Amazing self-confidence Lorenzo has. Or is it a totally overweening sense of duty?

I’m not entirely sure what the point is here, why they’re all coming out of the city?

Clarice has succeeded and Ardinghelli will vote for Petrucci not Pazzi for gonfaloniere. Well done that woman.

“Thank you,” says Lorenzo, sincerely.
Lucrezia *looks daggers at him* “I did this for your wife.”

“So we won’t be discussing the murder of Luca Soderini.” My god, Jacopo’s got balls.

Does Lorenzo actually have the authority to unilaterally offer Luca Soderini’s seat to Bastiano?

There’s plenty of material here for a video slashing Lorenzo and Jacopo - they’ve been staring at each other across the chamber all episode lol.

Interesting juxtaposition - Guiliano’s agony at losing Simonetta is apparently as great as Sforza’s in, er, actually dying.
Ooh, I do like a brooding Beano.

I see Sean Bean is now powerful enough to get a PA even when he’s not the lead.

Medici the Magnificent - ep 2.05 Ties That Bind - Reaction Post


[christening] Aw, everybody’s happy. Except Jacopo, I’m guessing.

Ooh, why’s Guilano late? Sandro knows, by the looks of it.

Sneaky little glances between Guiliano and Simonetta. Because no-one *ever* notices those...

Lorenzo wants to talk with Cardinal guy whose name escapes me, and his mother, but not Guiliano. Is that normal?

If we do not strengthen this republic we will wake to find ourselves ruled by a tyrant. Pazzi, I’m guessing, whose feelings for the Medici will not have been improved by Francesco’s “defection”.

“Sixtus will never entrust his financial affairs to a man who has no heir.” OUCH, that landed. “A bank without a future. You must win over Francesco”.

“You can leave Francesco to me.” This does NOT bode well for Francesco’s future happiness.

That girl looks very young. My god the SJWs must have been frothing at the mouth - the ones who will not accept that the past is a foreign country and they do things differently there. I never understand why they feel it’s a good use of their time to get so angry about things which have now changed for the better.

The girl is 12. Not at all unusual for marriages of alliance, but it’s obviously helpful that they’ve had Lorenzo lampshade the issue for people who don’t know much history.

“You should be his right hand,” says Simonetta.

“That place is taken by another,” Guiliano replies.

Does he mean Francesco? Their mother? Clarice? I feel like I should know, but it’s a year since the previous episode.

Novella: “My husband treats you as he does with good reason. It was not him, but your hatred of the Medici that cost you your family.”

OMG - suddenly Jacopo is an unhappy and vulnerable man. That soft voice as he says “It was God that took my family” is such a surprise from this horrible man. Though I should have known he would have tragic depths for Sean to have taken the part.

“Three sons. And a daughter. My wife, Madeleine, she carried them. And each time he chose to tear them from her.” God, this is heartbreaking. His wife nurses her pain in a convent. His nephews are both allied with the Medici. He is truly alone.

And just like that, Sean has made my heart break for this man who I have disliked very strongly up to now.

“Francesco is like a son to me. Is there nothing can be done to heal this wound?”

No idea what that was about, asking Novella if she was at a particular wedding a few years back.

Francesco signs a paper presented to him by Jacopo’s man and he doesn’t read it first. Argh.

Cardinal guy suddenly doesn’t trust Salviati.

Francesco says Jacopo seeks out people’s weaknesses and uses them to divide, manipulate and destroy. If Jacopo used the story of the miscarriages solely to manipulate Novella then he’s an even better actor than Sean Bean is.

Salviati’s quite the piece of work, isn’t he. And the Duke of Milan is falling for his threats.

Jacopo suddenly looks different. Different smile, almost different shaped face. What’s going on?

Oh dear, Jacopo’s sowing discord between Francesco and Novella, Francesco and Lorenzo.

This isn’t true, is it? Novella didn’t ask loads of questions about the bank? Or was there part of the meeting with Jacopo we didn’t see? But the main thing is, it’s unnecessary - Francesco is right in there with the Medici, he knows everything anyway.

I *really* don’t like Salviati!

Oh Guiliano, don't be an arse. Simonetta's not as mad in love with you as you are with her.

Still hating Salviati.


I’m confused - is it the Pope or Lorenzo that has withheld the alum trading from the Pazzi? I’m almost feeling sorry for Jacopo here, but I’m guessing that’s not going to last very long.

Sometimes I can only see Jacopo and I hate him then suddenly I see Sean and I'm like *melts*

In this scene where he congratulates Francesco on governing Imola, I can suddenly see Sharpe (in Peril where he talks to Pat on his return to the column ("best get moving") and even Boromir for a second.

It seems odd that Lorenzo gets to hold the baby more than Guglielmo, but I suppose that’s being head of the family.

People who get assistants: Mr Cassar (Director), Mr Michelini (Director), Mr Sharman (Lorenzo), Mr Bean (Jacopo), Frank Spotznitz (writer and exec producer)

Medici the Magnificent - ep 2.03 Obstacles and Opportunities - reaction post

This post started life as a series of pre-prepared tweets, and there are a few that I added in during the watchalong.

I'm starting to really like this opening theme!

This is some seriously clunky expo here. “Forcing the curia to elect a new pope. As his successor.”

Duke of Milan seems like a nice guy. Lorenzo always ready with the words though: "There will no mercy for those who do not show it."

Lorenzo: "Some men see mercy as weakness". I was totally expecting a cut to Jacopo Pazzi at that point. Nice to see a bit of subtlety in the directing!

Sean Bean *appears on screen* Me *drops fork, stares, transfixed* Yes, I’m shallow. But he genuinely does have that effect on me *shivers*

He's not wrong, though, is he?

He's a sweet talker!

The power of a distant ceremony - because they're married, she can wait in his rooms and it's all decent.

Funny to see Lorenzo being just one of the lads, and with a rude poem as well!

Lorenzo obviously has to do his social duties, but completely ignoring his new bride doesn't seem to be the best start to the marriage.

Know Your Enemy?

Guglielmo doesn’t look quite as convinced of all this as Bianca.

"She's promised to Bastiano Soderini!" "Perhaps that's why she's run off..." Clever boy, Francesco.

Interesting - Lorenzo de Medici and Francesco Pazzi in secret talks. Jacopo won’t like that.

"I have orders to take you home" "And I order you to stand down" She thinks she has the social power to say that but the guard ignores her. I wonder why...

“Poems for L.D.” WHOOPS.

Simonetta has the most beautiful mouth, I'd consider turning to kiss that!

Poor Bastiano, he's not the prettiest, is he.

“I love her”. “Then you are no longer a Pazzi.” Really Jacopo, it was all right while he’d just run away with her, but if he loves her that’s bad?

Wow - Francesco Pazzi votes FOR Lorenzo’s treaty. “He’s my blood. If Guglielmo is not a Pazzi then nor am I.” Jacopo gutted.

Was Jacopo's father in series 1? I understand that was set 20 years before S2, is that right?

Sean Bean is extraordinary. It's a very visceral experience watching him.

~ ~ ~

Medici the Magnificent - ep 2.04 Blood With Blood - reaction post

This post started life as a series of pre-prepared tweets, and there are a few that I added in during the watchalong.

Lorenzo : “Never pick a fight you can’t win - it only strengthens your enemies.” Wise words.

The Alum wars - it’s a lot more complicated leading the Medici than I’d appreciated.

"There are moral lines I won't cross", says the married man to his married mistress.

Fabulous wedding scene - must be hard for Clarice to watch true love getting married.

Not sure whether Vaccari simply doesn’t understand market forces or just hates Florence. Or Lorenzo.

Oh, Vaccari is mates with Jacopo. So the answer to my previous query is he hates Lorenzo.

Jacopo: “What are facts? If the truth does not point in our direction, then bend it so it does!”

Spoken like a true politician. I know it’s Sean Bean, but Jacopo Pazzi is an arse. He’s more unlikeable than Joseph Wilford and that’s saying something.

Novella's gorgeous - and scary!

So Novella Foscari is intended for Guiliano de Medici but she has strange tastes and is more interested in Franceso Pazzi. This is getting complicated.

Clarice is brilliant - clever, ready to do the right thing, be an excellent wife, and all she requests is that Lorenzo show her respect and not publicly humiliate her. I hope he's got it now.

More secret plotting between Lorenzo and Francesco; Jacopo won’t like that.

And indeed he doesn’t. He looks quite upset here - is that because his nephews are turning against him?

Lorenzo puts a lot of store by "peace and stability for all". Perhaps he's a bit too naive for the business?

So weird hearing them talk casually about the Pope invading. So very Christian...

Sandro's so naive.

How can Guiliano suddenly become pretty when he closes his eyes lol

Middle-aged men, who won’t be fighting personally, going all out for war *sigh*

Great, he attacks because otherwise his men will desert or start murdering each other. How can he not be ashamed of having so little control of his own army?

Volterra is devastated. Shit just got real.

Pazzi smiles. I love it, but it doesn’t bode well for Florence.

Simonetta looking out for ?Guiliano. This is a really good way of showing us the realities of the lack of communication - she has no idea whether he survived.

I take it Daniel Sharman can't ride. We only see him in very close up, ie on a rocking-horse job, or riding away into the distance. Yup, apparently he says he isn't very good.

Guiliano: “I haven’t the stomach for this.” I’ve thought through the whole series so far that Guiliano is more attractive than Lorenzo, and now even more so. Lorenzo looks almost bland beside him.

Yeah, Giuliano and Simonetta kissing right out in the street is a brilliant idea.

Lorenzo was excellent in that scene with Clarice cleaning his hands, very moving and genuine.

I’m missing the significance of the hawks that we keep seeing. They’re presumably a metaphor for something, but I’m not getting it. [Life-long mating - it's all about strong marriages.]

There's so little Sean Bean in this that tbh if it weren't for the watchalong I would have given up some time ago. But I'm enjoying the watchalong so here I remain!

Sharpe's Gold - reaction post

Still loving the way Sean Bean's name comes up on the screen at the first note from the electric guitar.

And I'm wondering if you get extra filmstar points for how long it is after your name that the title comes up. It's a full 8 seconds here.

Everyone seems to hate this episode - including Cornwell and the actors as far as I can see - and it's definitely not based on the book of the same name. (For insurance reasons linked to claiming for it when Paul McGann had to drop out). Written by Nigel Kneale who didn't seem embarrassed to admit that he hadn't read more than ten pages of the book. Though possibly they weren't allowed to use the same story anyway.

Never heard of most of the people listed after the title.

Set in Summer 1813.

9:35 Sharpe pulls his rifle on Lt Ayres, and everyone else except Harper does the same. Harper is watching Sharpe, not the Provost. I think Sharpe has a PTSD reaction to the Provosts, or maybe just a private soldier's hatred for them, and now he can challenge them he doesn't stop to think that's really not a good idea.

13:25 Sharpe is ordered to apologise to Lt Ayres and he looks beaten and humiliated.

13:40 But 15 seconds later he's apologising profusely with a wonderfully fake sincere look on his face. He's almost grinning, cheeky bastard. And by the end of it he is grinning. Love him.

14:30 Turns out he only apologised so he can be part of the advance into France, "not stuck in some [gets cut off by Munro]."

18:15 Sharpe goes to remonstrate about Skillicorn being taken to be hanged and Harper grabs him by the arm to stop him. Again Harper is all about protecting Sharpe. From himself most of the time. Wellington would have to court-martial him if he tackled authority again so soon and so blatantly. What is never pointed out is that with any other officer Harper would be risking his own life by grabbing Sharpe like he does so often. There's a strong case for "striking an officer" which is a shooting offence.

27:45 Ayres is trying to taunt Sharpe into waging 50 guineas. Which he presumably doesn't have, so he says No.

28:30 And for all the fine words about gambling being a sin, Munro hands some money secretly to Harper to put on Sharpe.

34:50 Ellie's cradling Ramona's baby when Sharpe walks up. The look of devastation on his face. Tiny touches of humanity and tragedy.

36:45 El Casco says he doesn't kill Englishmen, which Wellington says is a relief. "Not to the Scots" says Munro. Tiny touches of humour.

39:50 The mark of Sharpe's leadership style - he's sitting with his men with no jacket on, cleaning his rifle as they're cleaning theirs.

40:50 Being thought ignorant is one of Sharpe's really big things. Because of course he is ignorant, if the word means not knowing things that other people of his rank take for granted. He doesn't give himself enough credit - because neither does anyone else - for being extremely intelligent. He also describes himself as "wounded all over" which physically he is, but he also makes it clear very frequently how damaged he is emotionally as well.

44:05 This is ridiculous - no way would either of them go for a full-on snog at all, never mind in front of the men.

53:45 Christ she moves fast. And Lt Ayres comes along and sees what's going on.

55:25 Sharpe is giving every impression of being extremely stressed. Maybe that's because he's got Lt Ayres to interact - negatively - with, whereas usually he's interacting with his men and being a proper officer to them. Plus Ellie's there which is really throwing him off.

1:37:25 Harper "The mind's a very funny thing you know. I had an uncle once who thought the fairies were after him."

Sharpe: What happened to him?

Harper: They got him.

Where's the Frenchman gone then? Did he die in the action? Oh it's OK, he's there with them.

Unfortunately the full video seems to have attracted a very grumpy set of commenters who seem to have no understanding that if something is supposed to have happened 200 years ago, some things are going to be different. Nothing like the friendly community on the clips.