Called “the highbrow Downton Abbey”, Parade’s End is a five part BBC/HBO mini-series starring Cumberbatch as Christopher Tietjens. It is based on the tetralogy of novels of the same name by Ford Madox Ford about a love triangle that develops between Christopher, his wife and a young suffragette in the midst of WWI. After Christopher goes off for war, he has to make the choice of who he will return to.
I have such a huge affection for Christopher, more so than almost any other character I’ve ever played. I sympathise with his care, sense of duty and virtue, his intelligence in the face of hypocritical, self serving mediocrity, his appreciation of quality and his love for his country. He mourns a way of life that is being eroded by money, schemers and politicians, ineffectual military boobies and the carelessness of man’s industrialised progress. He is a noble if accidental hero fighting for relevance, a man out of time who is struggling with political and economic injustice. That’s what makes him relevant in what could be dismissed as ‘merely another Toff in a period drama’.