The Luminaries – BBC 1

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I was really looking forward to some Sunday night period drama, but I’m not getting on very well with this.  For a kick off, it keeps jumping backwards and forwards in time.  It wasn’t made clear initially that this was what was happening, so it was very confusing.  And our heroine’s got amnesia, so she’s as confused as the viewers are.  It’s supposed to be set in the New Zealand gold fields in the 1860s, but only one person seems to be looking for gold, although someone’s got a load of fake gold in his shop window. There’s supposed to be a lot of intrigue, but the only thing I really want to know is where the fortune-telling brothel madam’s husband, who gets murdered, is meant to be from.  His accent keeps changing from Manchester to Sheffield and back again, and it’s been round a few other places as well.  And why is everything, other than Eva Green’s hair, so dark?

The first few minutes were OK.  Anna (Bono’s daughter) met Emery (Tamwar from EastEnders) on a ship going to New Zealand, and it looked like it was going to be a romance amid everyone trying to make their fortune.  But then all the jumping around started, and it was very hard to tell what was going on.  I’ve now gathered that we’re going backwards and forwards in time, but it’s difficult to follow when we’ve just changed time again.  Anna somehow ended up in the house of a brothel owner/fortune teller, played by Eva Green, and the woman’s husband, the one with the changing accent.  And, at some point, the husband was murdered, and it may or may not have been Anna whodunnit.

Meanwhile, Emery doesn’t seem to have done much other than go fishing.  And the lighting is appalling.  Yes, I know that the lighting at the time would have been appalling, but it doesn’t make for very good viewing.  Everyone complained about this with both Wolf Hall and Jamaica Inn; but the BBC just keep doing it.

I’m not getting this at all.  Maybe it’ll improve  …