Years go I started emailing Kerry with suggestions for actresses to play Phryne when the series was finally made, but we forced to agree it would never happen. That was back when the ABC paid for 6 hours of fiction based programming a year. Things are now very different apparently, and I for one am very pleased to see the work of one of my favourite authors on the small screen.
Of course, the TV version is a highly reductive version of the original. The pool of characters has been pruned severely, omitting second adopted daughter Rose, Mrs Butler, Tinker, and sadly, reducing Lin Chung's role in her life to a two episode incident, not the long term partnership of body and mind in the books. AND they cast an actor whose diluted Asian heritage was hardly apparent. I think this says more about the perception of the Australian audience's tolerance for diversity more than it does anything else.
But, we're not here to grumble about what TV producers do to our favourite stories, we're here to have a thoroughly indulgent droolfest about the costumes, which are fantastic.
This ensemble is exquisite. The cut of those white trousers is perfect. Watching Essie Davis on screen moving around in this, it just sways and moves and generally supports our understanding that Phryne only dresses in the very best clothes.
The tumblr page I am sourcing these images from has a whole lot more, but stills do not do them justice. I love this imagining of the late 1920s in Melbourne, the lines of the costumes are very believable for the time, showing the transition to the styles of the 30s.
So, any other fans out there? Any other takes on the book vs the TV series?