Amazon's Picnic at Hanging Rock
The series starts off with filler material, in this case Mrs. Appleyard looking at a building for rent. This will become Appleyard College. She talks about 'he'll never find us out here.'
Then an eerie moment, again added material. Miranda without any shoes or socks on which may or may not be related to the late scene on the rock where she and the other girls remove their shoes and socks. (I'm writing this as I watch the episode.)
Amazon's version of Miss Ms Mc Craw, much younger then the movie version and more attractive.
The girls are expected to write an essay due the following Monday. It seems the history teacher hasn't shown up. In this version, though, the girls are going first to a fete to honor (or raise money) for the soldiers in the Boer War. Again, this scene is more added material.
This is Sara. Instead of the withdrawn, ultra-shy girl from the movie this one is pretty much the exact opposite getting into trouble right off during the dance class. She ends up strapped to the posture board (which happened much later in the movie.)
Again adding material that was not in the book or the original movie Miranda goes off to a stable. A drunk soldier tries something and she stabs him in the foot with a pitchfork. Then, in additional material, Mrs. Appleyard gets really angry with Miranda. She likens sex to being equal to the beasts in the field and brings up what could have happened if the guy had raped Miranda and gotten her pregnant.
The vehemence with which she says these things may indicate that she had similar problems with her husband (assuming she was actually married which at this point in the series may or may not be a correct assumption.)
In yet another difference from the novel Sara seems to be part of the Miranda-Marian-Irma group.
Irma tells Miranda she could be elegant but Miranda doesn't want to be and is mad at the idea that she is being groomed like a horse for marriage.
The series then moves on to the events of the actual picnic.
This starts out with the giving of valentine's cards. Then it goes on to Sara telling her poem to Miranda. Then Mrs. Appleyard warns the girls about how dangerous the rock is. Now, a bit of a criticism of the book, movie and this series. If you, as a principal, in effect, know that sending students to an area that is 'extremely dangerous' then wouldn't you actually think twice about doing that? Maybe think about sending them to some area that is less dangerous?
Notice what the girls are dressed in. The all-white outfits have been done away with and they are now in very colorful outfits that really seem more suited to today's world than the world of 1900. Another added scene when Mr. Lunley gives Irma a valentine's card.
Then in something that makes little sense, if any, Mrs. Appleyard refuses to allow Sara to attend the picnic as in the book and movie but this time it's to somehow punish Miranda by punishing Sara? The original movie made more, if twisted, sense as it was obvious that Mrs. Appleyard had an intense disliking for Sara. This is something out of left field.
Then there's a scene where Mrs. Appleyard is combing Sara's hair. This just doesn't seem to fit with her banning Sara from going to the picnic. Why do something this personal then? Also, it seems Michael is looking at the girls during when they are cutting the cake which is way before he saw them in the book or movie.
Then we go back to Mrs. Appleyard who is still with Sara. She tells the girl to show her her legs and there are cuts on them and also on the back of her legs. Is Sara a cutter? Does she injure herself on purpose? They seem too fresh to have been done back at the orphanage she was in.
Mrs. Appleyard tells Sara she's 'met her true father' and he has 'horns and a tail.' It's rather obvious that there is something severely off about this Mrs. Appleyard.
Then there's the scene where everybody goes to sleep but Marion, Irma and Miranda. Irma says that the rock doesn't like them.
In another added scene Mrs. Appleyard has a nightmare. She seems to wake up and talks to her husband who's not really there. Then there's the scene with Edith running down from the rock and screaming. Mrs. Appleyard seems to hear the scream which is interesting as, in her dream, Marion, Irma and Miranda seem to disappear.
The episode closes with the carriage returning, and the French teacher saying something terrible has happened. Mrs. Appleyard thinks this is a form of retribution.
Thus ends episode 1. Too much added material, too much making things look more up-to-date and too much unneeded ultra-fancy camera work.
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