Tess Of The D'Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy's classic novel for BBC One
David Nicholls (Starter For Ten, Much Ado About Nothing) has penned a new four-part adaptation of Thomas Hardy's tragic and well-loved novel, Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, for transmission in autumn 2008 on BBC One.
Produced in-house by BBC Drama Productions, David Snodin (Great Expectations, Crime And Punishment) will produce the serialisation with Kate Harwood as Executive Producer.
Kate Harwood said: "Arguably Thomas Hardy is the most neglected of our great literary authors, so I'm delighted to announce this new BBC adaptation of his renowned classic tale of Tess Of The D'Urbervilles.
"Hardy's novel explores love, betrayal and the emotional burden of secrets locked away at the heart of a passionate, loving relationship which, when unlocked, implode with heart-breaking consequences. David Nicholls' adaptation brings Hardy's tragic heroine, Tess, to life with verve, passion and sensitivity."
Originally titled Tess Of The D'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented, Hardy's novel was serialised in The Graphic during 1891 – although in censored form as it's challenge to the sexual attitudes of the day was considered too overt for general consumption.
Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy's immortal work.
When Tess's drunken father discovers their family can trace their ancestry back to Norman nobility, Tess' unhappy fate is set in motion as a train of events is unleashed. Exceptionally beautiful, Tess is given a place with her supposed noble kinsmen and is seduced and raped by the son of the family Alec D'Urberville.
She returns home and gives birth to a sickly boy who soon dies. Trying to rebuild her life, Tess is employed as a milkmaid and meets Angel Clare. They fall in love and Angel proposes.
Scared of losing him, she can't face telling him about her past, but on their wedding night Angel confesses a previous affair, so Tess, convinced that he will now forgive her, owns up about her own relationship with Alec, with tragic consequences.
Full casting is to be announced at a later date.
Filming begins in spring 2008 on location in the West Country.
Tess Of The D'Urbervilles was commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction.
BBC Drama Productions are world leaders in classic, period adaptation. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles will follow critically-acclaimed classics such as Cranford, Jane Eyre, Our Mutual Friend, Andrew Davies' adaptations of Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives And Daughters, Sense And Sensibility, Bleak House and BBC One drama serial Lark Rise To Candleford.