Author Topic: Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II  (Read 395189 times)

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Offline edubs31

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2012, 03:27:44 PM »
Next scene we see Ella alone with her father, nanny’s, doctor’s and nurses, and the Imperial couple embracing each other as they look on. Both GD Ernest and Miss Wilson give her gentle kisses on the cheek. Her eyes open ever so slightly before shutting one final time. The court doctor then checks her pulse which has finally expired. Her father already welled up in tears begins to sob quietly. Her turns around and looks at his sister Alix not bearing to stand the sight of his deceased daughter. She comes over to embrace him quickly and they both race out of the room overwhelmed by sadness.

We then shift to a month later, back in Tsarskoe Selo for Christmas Eve. The Empress has caught a cold which has grown into influenza. It is evening and the doctor is shown departing the bedroom of the Imperial Couple as Nicholas sits and chats with his ill wife...


Nicholas: Christmas Eve. I want so desperately to embrace you my darling.
Alexandra: I know Nicky. I’ll be well soon enough…I’m just sad to be spoiling the day for the children.
Nicholas: I didn’t want to tell you earlier because I know how painful it is to still talk about…but it seems the doctors have concluded that Princess Ella’s death was caused by a suppressed case of typhoid fever. She probably had the condition for more than a week before showing signs, and by the time she did it was really too late.
Alexandra: How awful.
Nicholas: I tell you this dear because I feel like you’ve been a little too harsh on yourself.
Alexandra: I should have been more attentive. Maybe something could have been done. It was our hunting lodge where the little girl got ill.
Nicholas: Ernie has forgiven us, you must do the same. The doctors concur on this. No one could have known what she was going through until her fate was already decided.
Alexandra: It was God’s will then.
Nicholas: Yes darling, God’s will.

The scene fades out and we conclude things with one final entry showing Mrs. Eagar coming to the bedside of Olga who has just awoken on Christmas morning…

Mrs. Eagar: Well look who's awake! Merry Christmas Olga Nikolaevna!
Olga (looking around): Merry Christmas to you…did God send for cousin Ella’s body in the night?
Mrs. Eagar (startled): Oh no dear, not yet.
Olga (disappointed): I thought he would have sent for her to keep Christmas with him.
Mrs. Eagar: She is with him already in spirit…and she is looking down upon all of us here today. I’m sure she wishes she could be here but aren’t we lucky to have her for a guardian angel?
Olga (pleased): Yes…we sure are!

A little later in the morning around the Christmas tree as others are milling about Marie is shown taking quite an interest in a book she has received as a gift. There are a series of photographs in it of some of the great works of art from around the world, particularly famous sculptures. Thumbing through the pages she stops at one and walks over to show Mrs. Eagar...

Marie: Why is this girl blind?
Mrs. Eagar (sitting the girl on her leg with book in hand): Well lets have a look…oh yes this is the famous sculpture of Nydia the blind girl of Pompeii. She was very unlucky not to be able to see.
Marie: What happened to her.
Mrs. Eagar: She was born that way I think.
Marie: But why?
Mrs. Eagar: Well sometimes God makes people blind, and no one knows why.
Marie (after a brief pause): I know someone who knows.
Mrs. Eagar: Oh? And who would that be?
Marie: Cousin Ella knows…she is in heaven, sitting down and talking to God, and he is telling her how he did it and why.

Scene fades out…
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2012, 04:25:35 PM »
Well, Edubs, that's all quite amazing. Those scenes are more finely elaborated than your usual ones. I recognize those scenes myself through my reading. In the case of the unfamiliar movie-watcher , I'm sure they'll be bowled over by the pathos. I sure was. Though they were young children then, the sensitivities and innocence and naivete of the three grand duchesses will nicely presage them later as they experience real streeses in the last four years. I think I must dab my eyes here a minute. Very moving scenes indeed!

I also enjoyed the scene of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and his squeamishness and/or unfamiliarity with the blood sport of wild game hunting. I think that would characterise him well, except that to that extent I doubt he would have partaken of the hunt at all. Maybe a little near comic relief effect though.

The interplay of the two nannies is excellent, something I overlooked in considering the drama of Princess Elisabeth's suffering and demise. I do think , however, that the interaction and familiarity between them and the doctors, as well as, to a certain extent their role in breaking the bad news to Ernest, Alexandra, and Nicholas may be excessive. Miss Eagar and Misss Wilson were close to their wards obviously, but their employers were still royalty and the more formal modes of address and deference still prevailed.

That fine line between historical accuracy and cinematic appeal is always tricky.

But again, I think these are compelling scenes, as  those with sensitive and suffering children usually are. See Dickens.
Rodney G.

Offline TimM

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2012, 02:37:49 AM »
Sounds to me that Ella was born with a congenital heart defect and could only have been helped by a heart transplant, impossible in those days.  It seems everytime the I.F. went to Poland, they had horrible luck (Alexei's brush with death at Spala comes to mind here).

Excellent scenes.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2012, 03:01:45 AM »
nitpicking as usual. Is there any need to mention Andre and Alice? Unless they are going to be involved again, it will only confuse the audience (Andre and Alice - who the hell are they?). If they are mentioned, I'm pretty sure that 'hearing issues' is not 1903-speak. Nicholas would say 'deafness', or perhaps, 'the trouble with her hearing'. Maybe something like, 'Alice was just a young girl trying to cope with her deafness/get over the trouble with her hearing'. Ernie might smile and add, 'She certainly manages to hear all the sweet nothings from Andre.' I think he was actually known as Andrea, pronounced An-dreya.

Ann

Offline edubs31

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2012, 01:10:29 PM »
Hello gang!

Quote
nitpicking as usual. Is there any need to mention Andre and Alice? Unless they are going to be involved again, it will only confuse the audience (Andre and Alice - who the hell are they?). If they are mentioned, I'm pretty sure that 'hearing issues' is not 1903-speak. Nicholas would say 'deafness', or perhaps, 'the trouble with her hearing'. Maybe something like, 'Alice was just a young girl trying to cope with her deafness/get over the trouble with her hearing'. Ernie might smile and add, 'She certainly manages to hear all the sweet nothings from Andre.' I think he was actually known as Andrea, pronounced An-dreya.

Good point Ann. I would certainly go back and change the language to reflect that. As far as removing them both from the scene entirely...the reason I brought it up was only as a way to mention that Ernie and Nicholas had seen each other just recently. It seems like a natural bit of a small talk to have while being preoccupied by other things (the hunt in this case). I'd think it logical when a couple of people reunite a month or so the previous event that brought them together would be discuss. "So Nicky that wedding was a lot of fun last month". "Yes it was, Andrea and Alice will make a good couple...how was their honeymoon and heir first few weeks together as a married couple?" etc, etc.

But you're right and I should look at this from the the vantage point of the audience. Already so many characters to keep track of...why piling on and risk confusion?

Quote
Sounds to me that Ella was born with a congenital heart defect and could only have been helped by a heart transplant, impossible in those days.  It seems everytime the I.F. went to Poland, they had horrible luck (Alexei's brush with death at Spala comes to mind here).

Excellent scenes.

Thanks Tim. You might be onto something there. Apparently she had the illness for twelve days but didn't start showing signs until over a week had past. It's no wonder the adults (and the doctor a first) were dismissive about it being anything serious. Her health was quite possibly a ticking time bomb. Such an awful tragedy, especially for someone regarded as a perfect little princess by all whom she came in contact with!

Quote
Well, Edubs, that's all quite amazing. Those scenes are more finely elaborated than your usual ones. I recognize those scenes myself through my reading. In the case of the unfamiliar movie-watcher , I'm sure they'll be bowled over by the pathos. I sure was. Though they were young children then, the sensitivities and innocence and naivete of the three grand duchesses will nicely presage them later as they experience real streeses in the last four years. I think I must dab my eyes here a minute. Very moving scenes indeed!

Wow, thanks Rodney...that of course means a lot coming from you! Yes this took my quite a while to put together...as you probably can imagine based on its length but Mrs. Eagar's "Six Years" made the research rather easy :-)

Quote
I also enjoyed the scene of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and his squeamishness and/or unfamiliarity with the blood sport of wild game hunting. I think that would characterise him well, except that to that extent I doubt he would have partaken of the hunt at all. Maybe a little near comic relief effect though.

Honestly I really didn't consider the fact that he might not have taken part at all. I naturally assumed the men on the hunt would have included the Grand Duke but I can see where you are coming from. Still I'd like to leave this in unless we find specific factual evidence that he did not take part in the hunt, or didn't hunt at all as a general rule.

Quote
The interplay of the two nannies is excellent, something I overlooked in considering the drama of Princess Elisabeth's suffering and demise. I do think , however, that the interaction and familiarity between them and the doctors, as well as, to a certain extent their role in breaking the bad news to Ernest, Alexandra, and Nicholas may be excessive. Miss Eagar and Misss Wilson were close to their wards obviously, but their employers were still royalty and the more formal modes of address and deference still prevailed.

Someone (maybe you?) called me out before for using a too familiar tone between Eagar and her royal employers. Since I don't actually show them addressing Ernie, Alix, Nicholas, however what might you recommend for the tone of the conversations that took place only after they were called over by their employers? I'm not sure how to fix the interaction between the two nannies themselves. I'd imagine women in this line of work would have bonded rather quickly. But I suppose I could edit the dialogue between they and the doctors as being something a little more formal sounding.

Thanks!
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2012, 01:34:30 PM »
'Honestly I really didn't consider the fact that he might not have taken part at all. I naturally assumed the men on the hunt would have included the Grand Duke but I can see where you are coming from. Still I'd like to leave this in unless we find specific factual evidence that he did not take part in the hunt, or didn't hunt at all as a general rule.'

Alice of Athlone tells a lovely story involving her uncle the Duke of Connaught, who was included in his brother Edward VII's shooting parties even though he was not a very good shot. On one occasion the Duke narrowly missed the Queen of Italy's large feathered hat, and a major row seemed about to ensue until someone warned the Duke that the Queen of Italy's hat was 'out of season'!

I'd not heard that Ernie was rather squeamish.

Ann


Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2012, 02:16:23 PM »
'I'd think it logical when a couple of people reunite a month or so the previous event that brought them together would be discuss. "So Nicky that wedding was a lot of fun last month". "Yes it was, Andrea and Alice will make a good couple...how was their honeymoon and heir first few weeks together as a married couple?" etc, etc.'

Very true. You might help to show where it all fits together by having Nicholas say something like, 'If they have a baby in the usual timescale, Alix will be a great-aunt by the time she's 32!' Ernie can then say, 'Of course, thanks to Alice she was an aunt at 13. She was very excited about it all.'

Incidentally, my father was an uncle at 14 - I'll have to ask him whether he found it exciting!

Ann



Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2012, 02:17:35 PM »
Edubs,

Upon further review, as the expression has it , I see that the only scenes with both the nannies and Alexandra have the dialog limited to the former using the term "Your Majesty", which is hardly over-familiar ! Sorrry 'bout that.
Rodney G.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2012, 07:59:28 AM »
Just a further thought regarding Alice and Andrea. You might use them as a bit of context for Nicholas and Alexandra not rushing to marry Olga off.

Nicholas or Ernie might say something like, 'What a lovely couple, and so much in love. But terribly young. Alice is only 18.' The other replies. 'And Andrea's 21. You and I were old men of 26 when we went to the altar!'

Ann

Offline edubs31

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2012, 12:47:21 PM »
Just a further thought regarding Alice and Andrea. You might use them as a bit of context for Nicholas and Alexandra not rushing to marry Olga off.

Nicholas or Ernie might say something like, 'What a lovely couple, and so much in love. But terribly young. Alice is only 18.' The other replies. 'And Andrea's 21. You and I were old men of 26 when we went to the altar!'

Ann

That's a clever thought Ann...I'm always looking for little hints and segues to tie the scenes together. Of course in 1903 Olga was still years away from when this would have been given serious thought, but it's never too early for a father to start growing anxious about such a topic :-)

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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2012, 03:06:37 AM »
Ernie could also say. '18 is so young. That was part of the trouble between Ducky and me.' Of course, there was more to it than that, but perhaps he could be justifying himself.

Ann

Offline TimM

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2012, 05:38:31 AM »
Quote
Thanks Tim. You might be onto something there. Apparently she had the illness for twelve days but didn't start showing signs until over a week had past. It's no wonder the adults (and the doctor a first) were dismissive about it being anything serious. Her health was quite possibly a ticking time bomb. Such an awful tragedy, especially for someone regarded as a perfect little princess by all whom she came in contact with!

They really had no way of diagnosing such things back then. 
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2012, 06:54:34 AM »
I will check up on typhoid. I have a 1911 manual for Naval Sick-Berth Attendants which will probablt have something about the symptoms and time scale.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2012, 07:34:30 AM »
As regards Ernie's sexuality, perhaps all that is needed is a brief image of him gazing into the eyes of a good-looking young man with the interior of a stable as backdrop.

Ann

Offline edubs31

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Re: New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series? Part II
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2012, 08:11:19 AM »
As regards Ernie's sexuality, perhaps all that is needed is a brief image of him gazing into the eyes of a good-looking young man with the interior of a stable as backdrop.

Ann

Yeah I should give some thought as how to work this in. In my previous scene with N&A discussing the breakdown of Ernie & Ducky's marriage I had Alexandra make a subtle reference to it while explaining to her husband how Ducky could have been so unhappy in spite of all she possessed.

I don't necessarily want to make a big deal about it. Much as I like the Grand Duke he's not going to be a major character in the story from this point on. To single out his sexuality when obviously several other members of the extended royal were of the same orientation might be pointless, or worse, in bad taste. On the other hand I guess his was the only marriage to specifically breakdown because of it.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...