We received a press release telling us about a giant statue of wet-shirted Mr. Darcy that has been installed in the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park to publicize a new
series on UKTV digital television channel* called “Drama.”
Here’s a photo, helpfully provided by the publicist. Click to embiggen:
Several things sprung immediately to mind:
- One can pretend it’s not Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, but after all he’s the only one who goes for a swim. We don’t count the Lost in Austen one because it was an imitation.
- It’s a good thing Colin has retained a sense of humor about the whole Darcy thing. At least, we think he has. (Private to Mr. Firth: Dude, you have an Oscar. Laugh at it.)
- They do know that Mr. Darcy doesn’t go in the pond in the book, right?
- They do know that we never actually see Mr. Darcy in the pond even in P&P95, right? (cf. Miss Bridget Jones–the dive was done by a stuntman, the underwater shots were done in a tank at Ealing Studios. The rest is all your heated imagination.)
This is either the greatest thing ever for sheer comedy value, or the Austen fandom has truly reached its nadir. Being a glass-half-full kind of girl (stop laughing), the Editrix has decided that it’s the greatest thing ever, and it has already occasioned much hilarity amongst Austen friends with a similar sense of humor.
A comment by Heather L. (“Firthzilla attacks London”) has inspired a filk based on a certain song by the Blue Öyster Cult. And then we went into Wawa to pay for fuel for the voiture tonight and guess what was playing on the loudspeaker? IT WAS A SIGN.
Herewith we present to our Gentle Readers: FIRTHZILLA! A filk of Godzilla, by the Blue Öyster Cult.
With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He declines to dance with all the girls in Meryton
Helpless people on a country walk
Scream bug-eyed as he strips his waistcoat off
He sneers at your family, but keeps hanging around
As he wades through those upon whom he looks down
Oh, no, they say he’s got ten thou
Go go Firthzilla!
Oh, no, there goes Derbyshire
Go go Firthzilla!
Literature shows again and again
Jane Austen points out the folly of man (and woman)
Really, it just filked itself.
*h/t to Kathleen Glancy for the correction…we were so distracted by Firthzilla that we didn’t read the press release very carefully
After the jump, the full press release, just to prove we really don’t make this stuff up.
OH MR DARCY!
GIANT MR DARCY EMERGES FROM THE SERPENTINE
IN HOMAGE TO MOST MEMORABLE TV DRAMA SCENE
- A 12 foot sculpture of Mr Darcy is unveiled in The Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park where Jane Austen used to stroll
- Created to mark launch of UKTV’s new TV channel, Drama
- The sculpture is revealed in the 200th anniversary year of Pride and Prejudice
LONDON, 8 July 2013: Jane Austen’s iconic romantic hero Mr Darcy emerges from The Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park today. The giant statue pays homage to the dramatic scene that set viewers’ hearts racing and was named the most memorable British TV drama moment of all time in a recent survey.
The sculpture, which was specially commissioned to celebrate the launch of UKTV’s new TV channel Drama, caused a stir amongst passers-by this morning as well as local wildlife. The installation of Mr Darcy in The Serpentine (which was one of the most fashionable places to promenade in Jane Austen’s era) celebrates the iconic scene from the 1995 TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s acclaimed 19th Century novel Pride and Prejudice, which was published 200 years ago in 1813.
The model, which is made from fibre-glass, took a team of three sculptors over two months to design, construct and paint. The giant sculpture of Mr Darcy’s head and torso measures 12 feet, equivalent to the height of a double decker bus.
Lead sculptor Toby Crowther says, “We took Colin Firth’s famous lake scene as a starting point for creating Mr Darcy but we also read the book and looked at performances of the brooding hero by Matthew Macfadyen, David Rintoul and even Laurence Olivier. The challenge for us was capturing the spirit of Darcy as handsome and noble but also aloof and proud. The Mr Darcy sculpture is a real mix of the many portrayals of Jane Austen’s most famous hero.”
The homage to Mr Darcy is set to embark on a short regional tour, taking in Scarborough beach, before it is installed at Lyme Park in Cheshire, where the now infamous scene from the BBC drama was first filmed. It will remain in place in the lake at Lyme Park until February 2014.
Adrian Wills, General Manager of UKTV channel Drama says, “The giant Mr Darcy in The Serpentine is a fitting tribute to one of the most memorable moments in British TV drama. Jane Austen spent a lot of time walking in Hyde Park and along the banks of the Serpentine so we would like to think she would have approved of our new dashing Darcy.
Our new channel is committed to screening the very best British dramas, offering viewers the chance to watch much-loved moments including Mr Darcy’s wet-shirted confrontation with Elizabeth Bennett following his lake scene.”
Drama is a brand new TV channel from UKTV, bursting with British dramas and showcasing an array of famous faces. Launching on 8 July 2013 and available free to all UK viewers, Drama will air a diverse range of critically-acclaimed shows featuring stellar talent, many of whom have gone on to join Hollywood’s elite. Drama can be found on Freeview channel 20 and Sky.