Moonfleet Episode One Review

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By Will Barber – Taylor

Moonfleet, Sky One’s brand new period drama tells the tale of John Trenchard (Aneurin Barnard) a young man who wishes to seek his fortune by finding Blackbeard’s diamond. By joining Elzevir Block’s (Ray Winstone) gang of smugglers, Trenchard thinks he can find the diamond.

Moonfleet begins atmospherically, with Block and his gang bringing to shore their latest booty. Meanwhile Trenchard sleeps soundly in his bed where he has a nightmare about the ghost of Blackbeard coming for him. Awakening, Trenchard decides to go and seek out Block’s group of smugglers.

So begins the first episode of Moonfleet in a masterful style. From the off you can tell this is stylistically very different to the costume drama we are used to. Compared to Downton Abbey  Moonfleet is much more upbeat. Surprising really seeing as in this episode two people get shot and another two get hanged.

The duo of Barnard and Winstone is perfectly brought to the screen. The duo is the original platonic relationship of a father type figure and a son figure. Winstone is a believable mentor to the young Trenchard, reluctant at first to get him involved in the world of smuggling but when he eventually does let him in you can see a real gruff tenderness to Trenchard that Winstone plays excellently.

Aside from the two mains’ brilliant acting, the rest of the production is beyond superb, the cinematography is beautifully realised and gives a real depth to the world we are experiencing when watching the programme. The supporting cast is also wonderful, Ben Chaplin as the Machiavellian Mahoon is certainly very watchable as is his daughter played by Sophie Cookson who acts as Trenchard’s love interest. However, unlike many love interests she is an interesting independent character in her own right.

Moonfleet, Episode One, is a fantastic opener to this swashbuckling two part story. The plot slowly builds up until it goes at a gallop. By the time of the cliff-hanger, with Mahoon dead and Trenchard and Block accused of the murder we can’t help but feel excited to see how they get out the predicament that they are in. I would highly recommend Moonfleet if you want to watch a fantastically detailed, tremendously acted, dazzlingly shot two part action adventure.

 

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