Posted in costume drama, tagged Brendan Coyle, Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, ITV, Jim Carter, Julian Fellowes, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Rob James-Collier, Siobhan Finneran on November 28, 2010|
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Sorry not to have updated this blog lately, but I’ve been busy at work once again! Anyway, this is really to say that I’m still here, and have been enjoying the latest smash hit costume drama, Downton Abbey. It has been drawing audiences of around 11 million in England and Wales alone, after the controversial decision by STV not to screen the show in Scotland.
It’s odd now to think that about a year ago it was being predicted that costume drama would disappear from British TV, and from ITV in particular, as a result of budget constraints. Sadly, it does still seem that TV adaptations of older literary classics are an endangered species, with very few such productions planned in the near future – the BBC is working on The Sisters, based on DH Lawrence’s The Rainbow and Women in Love, and a new version of Winifred Holtby’s South Riding, with a script by Andrew Davies, and that’s about it at the moment. I thought someone was bound to commission a major Dickens adaptation for 2012 to tie in with his bicentenary, but have heard nothing on that front yet – though I’m hoping! (A Tale of Two Cities would probably be my choice, if anyone is wondering.)
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Posted in costume drama, Elizabeth Gaskell, tagged Alex Etel, Andrew Buchan, Barbara Flynn, BBC, Claudie Blakley, Cranford, Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Francesca Annis, Heidi Thomas, Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Julia McKenzie, Julia Sawalha, Kimberley Nixon, Lisa Dillon, Michael Gambon, Philip Glenister, Simon Curtis, Simon Woods, Steve Hodson, Sue Birtwhistle, Susie Conklin on March 31, 2010|
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Dame Judi Dench, Lisa Dillon and Dame Eileen Atkins as Miss Matty, Mary Smith and Miss Jenkyns.
First of all, sorry to have been silent – I’ve been busy again, but have been watching costume dramas even though I haven’t been writing about them! Elizabeth Gaskell is one of my favourite 19th-century authors and I’m now planning to have a season on my blog about adaptations of her work, starting with Cranford and its sequel and then going on to North and South and Wives and Daughters.
There were also 1970s adaptations of all these books, which I would love to compare with the more recent versions, as well as a 1964 Mary Barton and a 1982 version of her novella Cousin Phillis – but sadly none of these are ever repeated or available on video/DVD, so it seems unlikely I’ll get the chance to see them unless the BBC starts delving into its archives.
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