LONDON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Hilary Mantel says she was delighted with the BBC's small-screen adaptation of her Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
Directed by Peter Kosminsky, the six-part Wolf Hall series is to air on Britain's BBC Two and on PBS' Masterpiece in the United States this year. Peter Straughan adapted both books for television.
The story follows "the complex machinations and backroom dealings of this pragmatic and accomplished power broker -- from humble beginnings and an enigmatic past -- who must serve king and country while navigating deadly political intrigue, the king's tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation," a synopsis said.
"My expectations were high and have been exceeded: in the concision and coherence of the storytelling, in the originality of the interpretations, in the break from the romantic clichés of the genre, in the wit and style and heart," Mantel said in a statement. "The spirit of the books has been extraordinarily well preserved. The storytelling is fast and fluid, the characters compelling, the tone fits that of the novels. Mark Rylance gives a mesmeric performance as Cromwell, its effect building through the series."
Executive producer Colin Callender added: "Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were the first books I optioned when I launched Playground. I was captivated by Hilary Mantel's provocative portrait of Thomas Cromwell -- a figure from history traditionally portrayed as a two-dimensional henchman, but who in Hilary's brilliant hands becomes a rich, complicated and enigmatic character. A man of lowly birth, navigating the deadly politics of the Tudor court and the moral complexities that accompany the exercise of power.
"Just as Hilary reinvigorated the historical novel, her books have provided us with the opportunity to reinvigorate the historical television drama. Modern audiences are interested in characters on both sides of the moral equation and in Cromwell we have a man trapped between his desire to do what is right and his instinct to survive. In truth it is a very contemporary story, a story of power, loyalty and betrayal that just happens to be about people 500 years ago," Callender said.