If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey and the writing of Julian Fellowes, then I think you’d also enjoy Dr. Thorne, a light-hearted retelling of Anthony Trollope’s 1858 novel. Julian Fellows, with his inimitable wit and playful delight in causing his characters consternation, wrote an adaptation of this Victorian charmer (#3 in the Chronicles of Barsetshire) as a costume-drama mini-series which was just released to Amazon Prime on May 20, 2016.
The story revolves around the loves and rejections of sweet, young Mary Thorne, who is of questionable birth but has become the love of her childhood friend, Frank Gresham, the only son of the local squire. There are all the usual dilemmas dealing with illegitimacy, social class, alcoholism, and the love of money versus the love of goodness.
Thankfully, both Trollope and Fellowes like happy endings, as do I, and so the tale concludes on a somewhat predictable but charming high note, with goodness abounding and Mary being the picture of amazing grace and forgiveness. As an extra plus, Julian Fellows introduces and debriefs the audience each time, which made me like him even more. His concluding remarks give some insight into his own philosophy: The greatest transformative power for good is love. Amen to that!