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The Essex Serpent (2022) - Apple+

Tom Hiddlestone and Claire Danes star in this drama about a mythical and notorious sea dragon. Apparently the Blackwater Beast is lurking in the water around Aldwinter, where Hiddlestone plays the local reverend. Danes plays Cora Seaborne, a well-to-do but recently widowed woman who decides, for whatever reason, to take up palaeontology. She's heard about the sea dragon, assuming it may be an as yet not quite extinct dinosaur. Cue the two inevitably meeting...

This is of its time, so authenticity is high. I wasn't sure what to make of this even by episode three of six episodes in the first season. I wanted more mystery and intrigue but instead got a love story told in the swamps and bogs of Aldwinter. I was more after the story of the Blackwater Beast and not the small-minded hysteria that came along with it's various visits, the tale of tuberculosis and developing medicines. Don't get me wrong, it's still valuable and definitely worth a watch, having its own moments of drama and assured performances by a strong cast, each rounded just enough to make them credible.



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