This post contains spoilers.
I've been watching less TV but more movies and as you've probably noticed a lot of my movie watching ends up being courtesy of Masterpiece theatre.
I recently watched two Sally Lockhart mysteries and liked them a lot. Right up until 2/3 through The Shadow in the North and then I had much the same feeling as I did at the end of the Golden Compass (also originally by Pullman). It was a "WHAT????" moment.
Maybe it's the romance author in me. But there is something fundamentally wrong when you kill the hero of TWO movies 2/3 of the way through the second one. DEAD DEAD DEAD. I was horrified. Even a Princess Bride-ish "mostly dead" would have been fine. And the feeble attempt for a satisfying ending with the baby nursery fell completely flat for me. The endings of both this movie and The Golden Compass ruined the experience for me...too bad since I enjoyed The Ruby in the Smoke immensely (the first one) and was really looking forward to the developing relationship between Sally and Fred.
My other movie watch was Persuasion, the latest version of the Austen novel. Persuasion was one of my favourites of hers. Anne is an interesting heroine. Very rarely do I equally want to slap and hug a heroine. I get so angry with her for being passive, but at the same time my heart aches for her because I know she loves so deeply.
Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks) is FANTASTIC. Loved him lots. Some of the other characters were forgettable (or should have been, her sister in law Mary was nuts and I wanted to slap her too) with one or two standing out - like her cousin Mr. Elliot who was played by Tobias Menzies (Brutus in Rome). Not as brill as other Austen adaptations I've seen, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.