Abridged Classics: Lorna Doone

Jun 24th, 2010 | By | Category: Columns

If there is one thing I love in this world, one thing it’s impossible to ruin, it is a period piece that brings together a talented cast. It’s a chance to discover the next big thing; a chance to enjoy those who have been chosen to work together because they’re at the top of their craft.

That’s what I thought before I saw Lorna Doone.

Lorna Doone, a bizarrely slapdash version of R.D. Blackmore’s novel, has a cast that seems to have been a scientific experiment to track the effect of a terrible period piece on the career trajectory of a random sample of actors.

The cast of Lorna Doone includes:

– Aiden Gillen, the star of Queer as Folk and a number of indie movies

– Jesse Spencer, a star of House

– James McAvoy, who blew up like the Fourth of July and is currently trying to stick his comely fingers in whatever franchises he can get his hands on

– Michael Kitchen, who’s been in every project the BBC has touched in the last hundred years

– Amelia Warner, who was in Aeon Flux and then sort of fell off the radar, possibly because she has no facial expressions

– Richard Coyle, who came in from the BBC’s Coupling, and then vanished until Prince of Persia, in which he briefly ruled the Persian empire.

BBC scientists mapped the results like so:

After viewing this experiment myself, I organized the following Abridged Classic so as to provide a warning to others who might try to find some logic in this movie. You won’t find it. All you’ll find is a pile of actors who should know better, and an inexplicable number of wide shots of people harvesting. (I have no answers; science never will.)


Genevieve is a prolific writer of speculative fiction living in New York, but you’ll never find her there because millions of people live there and Genevieve likes her privacy. Examples of her fiction can be found in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Federations, and numerous other magazines and anthologies. Her first novel is forthcoming in 2011. Also? She has terrible taste in movies.

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