aka The Count of Monte Cristo
Genre: Drama
Score: Good

Albert de Morcerf is a naive rich boy looking for love and fumbles in the carnival, but instead he’s captured by bandits looking for a ransom. He’s rescued by the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, and in gratitude promises to introduce him to Parisian society. When he arrives, the Count makes quite a splash – soon all of Paris is talking about him and he’s invited to all the worst parties. But where does the Count come from, and what are his real plans?

This show is marmite: the visual style is so strange and overwhelming that you will either love it to bits or despise it. Still images don’t do it justice, and nor do grainy little snippets on YouTube. At first glance it may look unpleasant and random, or even just lazy, but it’s actually very carefully done and helps to carry the story.

Yes, this is an adaptation of the classic novel – and I made sure to read the novel before allowing myself to watch it. What’s strange is that despite the obvious differences (this version being set in space, for example) and despite the story being told from a different character’s perspective (with some necessary shifts in plot to connect to events which Albert never saw in the original), I still found this to be a more loyal and rewarding interpretation than the recent film (I’ve not seen the older film so I can’t comment). The ridiculous opulence of Parisian life, the inequalities of society and the stupidity of Albert’s youth are things that could not be done in the present day, and don’t work in an ordinary period film – but setting them in a strange and distant future has recreated it.