Review: Colour Blind (a mini-series) Part 1

Detailed SPOILERS  below... beware!!

This mini-series is a part of The Catherine Cookson Anthology. I really enjoyed part one of this mini-series. Everything about the costumes and locale was perfectly period. I was never once reminded that I was watching a movie. It felt real. Every moment of it. While there are only 2 Black characters in this miniseries they are very important characters. They turn the McQueens family upside down. While the majority of the cast is not of the African Diaspora, there are major characters that are. So here we go!

The movie starts in 1915. It is set in industrial Tyneside during World War I. From the very beginning the tone is set. The costumes and music match the period right on. We meet the McQueens. They receive a letter from Bridgett saying that she has married a sailor named Mr. Patterson. Little do they know Mr. Patterson is African.

Her family isn't happy but she stands by her man. When her brother says James isn't the best thing for her, she replies, "He is to me. I mean it. We're family now!" They are even more upset when they find out James isn't Catholic. They are forced into another wedding. A Catholic wedding. Because they won't recognize their previous wedding as legal.

James foreshadows the future when he tells Bridgett to watch out for her brother, Matt. When Matt finds out Bridgett is pregnant he forces a bottle of alcohol down her throat in an attempt to kill the baby. This act shows just how much hate he holds in his heart.

His plan fails. Bridgett has the baby who is baptized Rosa Angela.

James is constantly at sea because no one will give him a job where they live. Lonely Bridgett copes with alcohol. However, she continues to lovingly care for her daughter.

When James comes back after the war him and Matt get into a fight. Thinking Matt is dead he runs away with Rose Angela in tow. A hunting party goes searching for him. Tony finds him and promises to look after Rose Angela as if she were his own. James promises to come back.

Six years later in 1924 we meet Rose Angela as a little girl in school. She is bullied by her teacher and classmates. But like her mother, she remains strong. These strength is something else I really loved. But Bridgett and Rose Angela have every reason to fall apart but they don't they stay strong.

Part 1 of this mini-series ends with Bridgett telling her daughter, "I won't tell you that life will be easy. But if we're gonna get through it. Don't you listen to what other people say. You just do what's right."

We are left with Tony (or Uncle Tony as Rose calls him) telling Rose Angela about what a good man her father was. He has keep his promise.

The thing I loved the most about part 1 was James. I really appreciate James Patterson's characterization. He wasn't just a tool the writers used. He was a fully fleshed out character. We learn of his background. He is from Freetown, Sierra Leone raised by a missionary that came there. Do you see those details!? The writer could have easily said James was from Africa and that could have been that. But she dug deeper than the African is a country fallacy and gave his home a face. He is shown with Human emotions. And while he treats Bridgett like a queen, he is in no way her doormat.

The costumes were nothing to write home about. They matched the period, but the McQueens and their neighbors are poor so there are no beautiful gowns in sight. I know I should be happy the film was realistic with the costumes but ... I just really like beautiful gowns *hangs head* ... who doesn't?

There are 2 more parts to this mini-series. If they follow the lead of part 1 then I will enjoy them both. I have high hopes! I will be posting pictures from part 1 in a separate post.

Part 1 gets 5 stars from me!

This miniseries is based on a 1977 novel of the same name by author Catherine Cookson. Get your own copy using this handy Blacks in Period Films Amazon Associates Affiliate link.

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.


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