Britain's fall TV turns to the masters

Aug. 21, 2008 at 9:27 AM
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LONDON, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- British television programmers are turning to the 19th-century masters for inspiration in their fall lineups, a look at the schedule shows.

Author Thomas Hardy, for instance, will be given a 2008 treatment by BBC One, which has a fresh adaptation of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" on tap starring Gemma Arterton and Ruth Jones, The Times of London reported Wednesday. Screenwriter David Nicholls says his version will be a "different kind of adaptation to the ones we are used to -- big, passionate, violent, romantic, sexual."

"Lost in Austen" on the ITV1 network is not so much an adaptation of Jane Austen than a use of the world she created for "Pride and Prejudice," the newspaper says. In it, a modern woman time-travels to Georgian England to swap places with "Pride's" Elizabeth Bennet character and tries to adapt to the culture's relative simplicity.

And old reliable Charles Dickens gets another prime-time shot on BBC One with "Little Dorrit." This adaptation is by Andrew Davies, co-author of the "Bridget Jones" movies, The Times says, and looks to add to the success of last year's Dickens effort "Bleak House" by casting "Lord of the Ring's" Andy Serkis (Gollum).

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