“BBC has already announced that they’re cutting back on costume drama and this will be the last 19th century project for a long time” someone wrote on the IMDb boards, and I think that’s a great shame. We all love a good costume drama! But at least we have this one, the upcoming adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma to keep us keen!
The script has been done by the great Sandy Welch. Don’t know who she is? She wrote the scripts for North &; South (BBC 2004) and Jane Eyre (2006)… and they were absolutely marvellous, so I’ve high hopes for this one as well. Sandy Welch is like the new Andrew Davies.
It features Romola Garai as Emma Woodhouse. Ms. Garai I know from Angel and Mary Bryant, because I’ve yet to see Atonement, because it doesn’t have Sam Neill in it (the other two do). She’s a good actress, and I’m sure she’ll do a good job.
The lush Mr. Knightley will be played by Jonny Lee Miller – a guy whose name I didn’t recognise, but looking him up, it turns out he’s the prophetical lawyer Eli Stone off the Sci-Fi Channel. I knew he was British, but… Mr. Knightley? I don’t know… but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen the show.
Other cast members include (get your squee on, it’s a bunch of familiar faces!) Michael Gambon (professor Dumbledore) as Mr. Woodhouse, Rupert Evans (Frederick Hale, North & South ’04), Christina Cole (Blanche Ingram, JE’06) who seems to be typecast as a bitch in Mrs. Elton, Dylan Ritson (Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park ’07) as Mr. Elton and Tamsin Grieg (Fran in Black Books) as Miss Bates. The rest I don’t really know who they are.
It’s due to be shown on the Beeb in October, so let’s wait and see what it’s like. To wet the appetite, here’s a little preview: