On the air since 1971, in its early days the show consisted entirely of British drama productions, more than half of them from the BBC. Since the year 2000, some classic productions from the American Collection have also been included.
I started watching the pieces from Masterpiece Theatre about a year ago when the came on one night. I usually watch the ones that are based on plays and novels. Even through I don't see any of the mini-series I would usually like to see, I still look at this show and what it offers when it airs something that interest me. One mini-series I remember seeing was 'North and South', which is one of my favorite from this show. I can't wait until I can see some ew ones. To anyone who loves plays and/or mini-series based on novels then I suggest you find the listing for this program. Also, I believe it shows other forms of theatre productions as well.
It has been one of the few defining shows in my lifetime. It exposed to me culture, literature, and a whole new world that I would have never found on a regular network television series. MPT brings the classics to life, even making some people who would never consider reading something by the likes of Tolstoy enjoy some of the most famous works of literature of all time.
Each episode is beautifully produced, the writing is strong, and the actors are some of the most talented people in the world.
If you have never watched MPT, please take my advice and give it a try. I'm positive that you will not regret it.
From comedies to tragedies and everything in between, Masterpiece Theatre has something for everyone.
My first exposure to Masterpiece Theatre was as a small child, sneaking a peek at "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" through the stair bannister of my family's second floor (our Sunday bedtime was 7pm, but I couldn't sleep and tried to be stealthy at 8pm!). However, when one of Henry's wives was caught during a tryst, she screamed, realizing that it meant her death. I was terrified, but knew that I couldn't cry out, or I would meet a fate worse than death! To this day, I have never quite overcome that shock, but I have learned to appreciate good drama; Masterpiece Theatre may have been a catalyst to my double-majoring in Theatre in college, along with my chosen profession.
Although not every show will appeal to everybody. Personally, I avoid sitting through banal stories such as "The Virgin Queen (Elizabeth I)" or "Jane Eyre", and though I might wonder why shows such as "Prime Suspect" and "Sherlock Holmes" didn't air on "Mystery!",
I can eventually enjoy fast-paced romps and true-to-life stories, such as "Casanova" and "Carrie's War".
While stories such as "...Henry VIII" or "Prime Suspect" may be too intense for young children (per my little misadventure, above!), let them watch if they want to, especially with stories such as "Sherlock Holmes" and "Carrie's War", which can stimulate childrens' imaginations, as it did for me!
If you've never seen Masterpiece Theatre, you may have to wait for something that will tickle your fancy, but, I wish I could go back in time to view all the shows and series I missed! And, I assure you, I will give every current and future show a chance!
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