Wednesday, 28 June 2017
722 My Brother Jonathan
First viewed : 12 August 1985
This was a five part adaptation of an interwar novel by Francis Brett Young. There was a popular British film version in 1948 starring Michael Denison. It is remembered as being the first and only TV series with a leading role for Daniel Day-Lewis as My Beautiful Launderette was already in the cinemas when it was first broadcast.
Day-Lewis played Jonathan Dakers , a young man whose parents neglect him yet dote on his younger brother Harold ( Benedict Taylor ). When his father dies, Jonathan abandons his medical studies to take a junior post in a medical practice in an industrial town so that Harold can complete his public school education and maintain his social standing. Jonathan's social conscience soon makes him an enemy of Dr Craig ( John Stone ) the corrupt head of a rival practice. As if things weren't bad enough , Edie ( Caroline Bliss ) the object of his desire falls for Harold instead. There isn't a happy ending either.
Perhaps Jonathan is too good to be true; is anyone really that self-sacrificing ? Nevertheless,I enjoyed the series but I did think Day-Lewis was actually a bit wooden. My mum disagreed and said his ponderous delivery was a mark of his being "very upper class".