If nothing else, the BBC is renowned, world over, for their engaging and sumptuous drama productions. They were, after all, the ones who brought Colin Firth to our screens as Mr Darcy. Enough said I think.
So what other novels have the BBC been picking from the book shelves to entertain us this year? A good dowsing of Period Dramas are always a welcome edition to the (cough) talent (cough) shows. We have already enjoyed the harsh realities of life in post war South Riding and the edgy Victorian, The Crimson Petal and the White.
Following the success of previous dramatisations of Sarah Waters’ bestsellers (Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith) the BBC return to the author’s back catalogue for Night Watch. A story of survival in 1940s London starring Anna Maxwell-Marting (South Riding, Bleak House) as ambulance driver, Kay Langrish.
Moving to the classics we will be treated to not one but two Dickens’s adaptations this year. The ambitious dramatisation of Edwin Drood will have Dickens’s fans poised at the ready waiting to see how writer, Gwyneth Hughes, will complete Dickens’ final and incomplete novel for BBC4.
Less exciting, yet sure to be still appreciated, the BBC are turning to Great Expectations with a brand new version, little over a decade since the last production staring Ioan Gruffedd and Justine Waddell aired. Its a wonder why the BBC are trying to improve on perfection especially when there are so many ‘Classic Novel’ treasures crying out for their chance to be adapted. Scheduled for Christmas, it will certainly bring in the viewers and since it is the time of ‘good will’ and repeats for TV, it won’t be completely out of place.
Time for something brand new with Case Histories adapted from Kate Atkinson’s bestseller of the same title. Jackson Brodie, a private detective, solves murders and mysteries long since abandoned from the 70s. With intertwining plots and engaging characters this will no doubt be a huge hit for fans and those not familiar yet with Atkinson’s work.
Although there hasn’t been much information released yet regarding the upcoming adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s Birdsong you’ll no doubt hear a big ‘about time too’ from fans of the book after its release back in 1993 with talks of film versions constantly falling through since. Eddie Redmayne (The Other Boleyn Girl) and French actress Clemence Poesy (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) will take the leads of Stephen and Isabelle in this World War One epic. Tissues at the ready, you have been warned!
Overall it looks an exciting year from the BBC Drama department and if you can’t wait for the productions themselves then get stuck into one of the books today. The difficulty being which one will you read first?