October 29, 2013
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". . . an inside view . . ."
Each Sunday evening at 9:00 Eastern time, millions of people stop their lives to sit and watch Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Why do so many people put their lives on hold for one television show? Because the performances truly live up to the series name "Masterpiece."
Now comes the book, Making Masterpiece, written by the show’s executive producer of 25 years. Rebecca Eaton. It's written from an inside view, giving us the true story about how the program came to be. Rebecca put heart and soul into her job as executive director. Sitting back now, she realizes that she's not quite finished. It's part of her. She will continue her work.
England provides the rich historical setting for the beautiful theatrical performances. The mannerisms and ways of life of the people who live there are as endearing as they have been in times past. We viewers fell in love with the beauty of the land. We fell in love with the glorious costumes and beautiful scenes. We fell in love, most of all, with the people.
Each show in the "Masterpiece" series is truly a work of art. It started as "Masterpiece Theatre" and had an amazing narrator bring life to the show before it started. Nothing like an introduction by a man who loves history.
Rebecca spent 25 years of her life living and breathing "Masterpiece". She was the heart and soul of it. She fought for it. She went on several trips to England to work with Brits on the development of possible shows. She became the voice of the show.
This is a story about the wonders and troubles of funding "Masterpiece". It's a story that, if you enjoy "Masterpiece," you will appreciate all that goes on behind the scenes. The book shows us the hours and hours of work it takes to make one episode, and the staggering cost of production. Yet, most viewers are largely unaware the huge task of bringing these stories to television. When PBS solicits more funds from the public for this beautiful show some may wonder why so much money is needed. Reading this book will open viewers’ eyes to the answers, and to the importance of keeping "Masterpiece" alive.
So, if you enjoy the beautiful world of the 19th century in England when times were hard, people were good and bad and beautiful and not so beautiful, then you will enjoy watching "Masterpiece". Those who want to know more about the making of the show will enjoy the compelling story told by its producer.
Reviewer: Judy Peterson
Categorised in: Book Reviews
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