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24 September 2014
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Daniel Deronda - Andrew Davies' three-part adaptation of one of literature's most emotional masterpieces for BBC ONE

Hugh Dancy, Romola Garai, Hugh Bonneville, Jodhi May, Edward Fox and Greta Scacchi star in Andrew Davies' three-part adaptation of George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, one of literature's most emotional masterpieces, transmitting from Saturday 23 November on BBC ONE.

"Daniel Deronda is highly original and modern in its feel," says award-winning writer Andrew Davies.

"George Eliot's last novel is bold and experimental for its time, which makes it ripe for adaptation. Set in the 1860s, it is a passionate, intense love story which takes both hero and heroine, Daniel Deronda and Gwendolen Harleth, on a journey of eventual self-fulfilment."

In Gwendolen Harleth and Daniel Deronda, George Eliot created two of the most captivating and enigmatic characters in
Victorian literature.

Gwendolen (Romola Garai) falls in love with Daniel (Hugh Dancy) when she first sees him at the roulette table and senses that he is not like other young men.

Gwendolen - outwardly alluring and vivacious - is selfishly determined to get what she wants out of life.

Daniel is sensitive, caring and highly intelligent but an illegitimate son who is haunted by doubts about his own identity.

He is drawn to Gwendolen, sensing the vulnerability and despair that lurk behind her brilliant façade.

Gwendolen is forced by circumstances into an oppressive marriage to a handsome but self-centred aristocrat, Henleigh Grandcourt (Hugh Bonneville).

Rich, worldly and sophisticated, he could have been the ideal husband for Gwendolen but feels compelled to crush her independent spirit and mould her into his perfect wife, unaware of the repressed hatred he is stoking up.

He also hides a dark secret which further threatens Gwendolen's happiness.

As her despair grows, she turns for help to Daniel - only to discover he is now torn between his affection for her and for a young Jewess, Mirah Lapidoth (Jodhi May), whom he rescued from drowning and who holds a deep fascination for him.

BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, Jane Tranter, says: "Andrew Davies's latest adaptation for BBC ONE has powerful themes - passion, love, fulfilment and identity.

"These issues are as relevant today as they were in 1874, when the novel was published.

"Like Tipping The Velvet on BBC TWO, Davies's Daniel Deronda represents a maturing and broadening of the classic adaptation on BBC ONE.

"Deronda is an elegant, classy love story which follows such other period classics as Elizabeth Gakell's Wives & Daughters, Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now and Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice."

The exceptional cast also includes:
Greta Scacchi as Lydia Glasher, Grandcourt's embittered former mistress and mother of his three children;
Edward Fox as Sir Hugo Mallinger, Daniel's adopted father;
Celia Imrie as Mrs Meyrick;
Amanda Root as Mrs Davilow;
and Hollywood actress Barbara Hershey as The Contessa, the woman who holds the key to Daniel's past.

Daniel Deronda reunites Andrew Davies with producer Louis Marks, the team behind the BBC's award-winning and widely acclaimed version of George Eliot's Middlemarch.

It is directed by Tom Hooper (Love In A Cold Climate) and the
executive producers are Kate Harwood and Head
of Drama Serials, Laura Mackie.

Notes to Editors

A Daniel Deronda press pack is available below in pdf format. You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.

Daniel Deronda press pack (559 KB)

Hugh Bonneville, Romola Garai, Hugh Dancy and Jodhi May star in Daniel Deronda for BBC ONE (31.05.02)



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