So in my usual obsessed way, I watched the other three episodes of PARADE'S END on HBO "on demand" since my last post—and was completely satisfied. I hadn't read the four books that make up Ford Madox Ford's tetralogy in decades but the TV show seemed much more sentimentally romantic than I remember the books being.
I did go to Google Books and read in it here and there to get Ford's style back in my mind and to see how much the TV mini-series differed from the books, and what I discovered was how many of the most memorable lines of dialogue in the HBO version were direct quotes from the books. As I said in the last post the books are written from multiple points of view, RASHOMON like, which Tom Stoppard's HBO version does not do, simplifying the story and tying it together in a more satisfactory way.
It occurred to me that Julian Fellows, the creator of DOWNTON ABBEY may have been influenced by Ford's PARADE'S END and then the HBO version of PARADE'S END influenced by DOWNTON ABBEY. At any rate, I'm happy the HBO version of PARADE'S END was so satisfactorily and delightfully romantic in the end. Although that means viewers will miss the tone and a lot of attitude and even dramatic scenes from the book that were left out of the TV version, for me that was incentive to read part of the tetralogy again and then despite feeling totally satisfied by the dramatic unity and arc of Stoppard's TV version, feeling the urge to watch it all again to discover what I missed this first time viewing it and enjoy it in some new ways that I don't doubt it will offer up.