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Saturday 12 Jul 2014

Books On The BBC – TV Drama

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Christopher And His Kind

Christopher And His Kind

BBC TWO

The hedonistic cabaret scene of Berlin in the Thirties is in full swing when wide-eyed young writer Christopher Isherwood arrives in the city, unable to speak a word of German.

To Isherwood's reserved English sensibility, the city's thriving gay subculture is thrilling and intoxicating, but he soon finds himself heartbroken after the failure of a hopeless love affair, and so sets out on a process of self-discovery.

Written by acclaimed playwright Kevin Elyot, this one-off drama, chronicling the formative years of Christopher Isherwood, stars Lindsay Duncan, Imogen Poots, Toby Jones and Douglas Booth with Matt Smith in the title role.

Imogen Poots plays Jean Ross, an aspiring actress and singer who provided Christopher with the inspiration for the Sally Bowles character of Cabaret fame; Toby Jones plays Gerald Hamilton, a peculiar man who provided the inspiration for the title character in the celebrated Isherwood novel Mr Norris Changes Trains; Pip Carter plays Wystan Auden, the famous poet with a droll sense of humour, who persuaded Christopher to join him in Berlin, and Douglas Booth plays Heinz, a street cleaner with whom Christopher falls in love.

Christopher And His Kind tells the story of how Isherwood escapes repressive English society and his suffocating relationship with his mother Kathleen (Lindsay Duncan) for the decadent and politically unstable world of pre-war Berlin.

A Mammoth Screen production

AF

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Books On The BBC

Birdsong

BBC ONE

BBC One presents a two-part adaptation of the classic novel by Sebastian Faulks.

A truly epic drama, Birdsong tells the story of Stephen and Isabelle, who are brought together by love and torn apart by the First World War.

This extraordinary tale of love, loss, heroism and hope is brought to screen by award-winning writer Abi Morgan.

Sebastian Faulks is the presenter of a major series examining novels through their characters, Faulks On Fiction.

A Working Title Television production

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Books On The BBC

Case Histories

BBC ONE

Set in contemporary Edinburgh, this six-part drama is adapted from Kate Atkinson's best-selling books about private investigator Jackson Brodie.

Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The Patriot) takes the lead role in these intriguing, moving and funny character-driven stories which conjure up a richly imagined world in which Brodie attempts to bring resolution to the victims of unexplained mysteries and comfort to the survivors of personal tragedies.

The ultimate survivor, he is a bruised optimist compelled to help others.

Case Histories is not just about solving crimes, it's about solving the mysteries behind people's lives.

A Ruby Film And Television production

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Books On The BBC

Great Expectations

BBC ONE

Sarah Phelps's (Oliver Twist, EastEnders) bold new three-part adaptation presents the heart and grit of Charles Dickens at his very best.

Suspenseful and thrilling, this visceral retelling captures the romance and warmth of the classic to mark Dickens's bicentenary, especially for Christmas 2011 on BBC One.

Great Expectations forms part of the BBC's focus on Dickens at the end of the year

BBC Productions

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South Riding

South Riding

BBC ONE

Anna Maxwell Martin and David Morrissey lead the cast in Andrew Davies's new three-part adaptation of Winifred Holtby's South Riding.

This 20th-century classic is a rich and panoramic portrait of a Yorkshire community in the Thirties, carrying surprising and refreshing echoes of our own time.

In the long aftermath of the First World War, 30-year-old Sarah Burton (Maxwell Martin) returns to Yorkshire from London to become the headmistress of a struggling high school for girls.

Sarah is the very image of a modern woman, more recognisable to her sisters in 2010 than she would have been to her contemporaries in 1935.

She is full of ambition, passion and a desire to live life to the limit. But her homecoming proves more complicated than she imagines.

Before long her ambitions come into conflict with her feelings for the man least likely to have won her heart – Robert Carne (David Morrissey) the handsome haunted gentleman farmer with whom she clashes.

South Riding is a rich, compassionate and humane story of politics in small places and the indestructibility of the human spirit.

The cast also features Douglas Henshall, Penelope Wilton, John Henshaw, Shaun Dooley and Peter Firth.

BBC Productions, Manchester

AF

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Books On The BBC

The Crimson Petal And The White

BBC TWO

"If you dare enter this world," declares Sugar, the heroine of Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal And The White, "you had better tread carefully."

Romola Garai, Chris O'Dowd, Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant, Shirley Henderson, Amanda Hale and Mark Gatiss star in this four-part tale of love, lust, desire and revenge, adapted from Faber's international best-selling novel.

Revealing the true underbelly of Victorian life in a way never before seen on screen, The Crimson Petal And The White is a bold and original new serial, adapted by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon and directed by Marc Munden.

Evocative and sexually charged, this provocative and riveting emotional tale takes viewers into a hidden world seething with vitality, sexuality, ambition and emotion in which a young prostitute and a prominent businessman embark on a dangerous relationship with epic consequences.

An Origin Pictures production

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Books On The BBC

The Night Watch

BBC TWO

Set against the turbulent backdrop of Forties London, The Night Watch tells the stories of four young Londoners inextricably linked by their wartime experiences.

In a time when the barriers of sexual morality and social convention have been broken down, Kay, Helen, Viv and Duncan enjoy a new freedom as they engage in secret liaisons and passionate trysts.

Anna Maxwell Martin, Claire Foy, Jodie Whittaker, and Harry Treadaway star in this tragic and tender adaptation of Sarah Waters's best-selling novel, adapted by award-winning British writer Paula Milne.

Moving back in time to the maelstrom of the Blitz, the lives, loves and losses of these four central characters are unravelled. But, for them, the post-war victory is bitter sweet, for it returns them to the margins of society from which they hoped they had been liberated.

To build their future, they must each make peace with their past.

BBC Productions

RN

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Women In Love

Women In Love

BBC FOUR

Rosamund Pike, Rachael Stirling, Rory Kinnear and Joseph Mawle star in Women In Love, a compelling new two-part drama by William Ivory (Faith, A Thing Called Love, Common As Muck).

Based on two novels by DH Lawrence – The Rainbow and Women In Love – which Lawrence originally intended to publish as one, Ivory has melded the books together in line with the author's original vision as part of BBC Four's new Modern Love Season.

Women In Love charts the lives and loves of two sisters, Ursula (Stirling) and Gudrun Brangwen (Pike), viewed chiefly through their relationships with two friends Rupert Birkin (Kinnear) and Gerald Crich (Mawle). As the two relationships intensify the couples leave the Midlands and go abroad together, leading to conflict and tragedy.

The cast also includes Saskia Reeves as Ursula and Gudrun's mother, Anna; Ben Daniels as Anna's husband Will; and Olivia Grant as Hermione.

BBC Four's new Modern Love Season, exploring love and sexuality in 20th-century literature, will also include Amanda Coe's adaptation of John Braine's novel Room At The Top.

A Company Pictures production

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Room At The Top

Room At The Top

BBC FOUR

Joe Lampton is a young man on the make in this two-part adaptation of John Braine's classic novel Room At The Top.

In his quest for social promotion, Joe meets and courts Susan Brown, the beautiful daughter of a rich local businessman who can help him advance his social prospects.

But he also meets and falls passionately in love with unhappily married Alice Aisgill, a startlingly forward and sexual older woman with whom Joe starts a risqué affair that not only threatens his career but his social standing and reputation.

Joe wants to rise above his rank and station and improve himself, whatever the cost, but despite his single-minded ambition, he can't choose between the two women as he struggles against his own self-destructive will and an outcome that inevitably has tragedy written all over it.

Meadow Productions

PPR

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Books On The BBC

Edwin Drood

BBC TWO

An ambitious two-part adaptation for BBC Two sees writer Gwyneth Hughes (Five Days, Miss Austen Regrets) finishing Charles Dickens's final novel Edwin Drood.

The mystery novel was left uncompleted at the time of Dickens's death, and its ending remains unknown. Alongside Great Expectations, this will form part of the author's bicentenary celebrations on the BBC.

BBC Productions

MO

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Frankenstein's Wedding … Live In Leeds

Frankenstein's Wedding … Live In Leeds

BBC THREE

For one night only, in March 2011, the city of Leeds plays host to a spectacular live TV event.

This one-off live broadcast features the marriage of scientist Victor Frankenstein and his bride-to-be, Elizabeth Lavenza, an ambitious music and drama event that explores Mary Shelley's iconic story through contemporary performance and cutting-edge musical content.

Set against the Gothic magnificence of Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, this bold reimaging of the much-loved masterpiece brings the passion, emotion and horror of the classic tale to a live audience.

Focusing on the lavish wedding of Victor and his childhood sweetheart, it stays true to the ethical and scientific themes while bursting open the classic text, fusing it with live drama and contemporary dance to bring a unique viewing experience for TV viewers at home and the audience in the Abbey itself.

In an original take on audience participation, the thousands present will be invited to attend the event in their best wedding outfits and play a real role as guests.

A wide range of outreach activities are also planned in the lead up to the event.

BBC Productions

SG

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Books On The BBC

Field Of Blood

BBC SCOTLAND

Adapted from the popular Denise Mina novel and written and directed by David Kane (Taggart, Rebus, Sea Of Souls), crime drama Field Of Blood is set in Glasgow in 1982 and centres on would-be journalist Paddy Meehan (Jayd Johnson), a young copygirl working in a newspaper office.

Stuck in an almost exclusively male-dominated world of limited opportunities and cynicism, Paddy dreams of becoming an investigative journalist – believing that, in miscarriages of justice, reporters are sometimes the only hope.

Funny, smart, and feisty, Paddy seizes an opportunity to kick start her career and becomes embroiled in a dark murder case. But the opportunity of a lifetime comes at great personal cost...

Field Of Blood also stars Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It), David Morrissey (Five Days, Doctor Who), Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood, The Street), Ford Kiernan (Still Game, No Holds Bard), Derek Riddell (Five Days, Ugly Betty) and Bronagh Gallagher (The Accused, Tamara Drew, The Commitments).

Produced by Willy Wands (River City, Rebus, The Magdalene Sisters), executive producers are Andrea Calderwood (The Last King Of Scotland, Generation Kill) for Slate North, Gaynor Holmes for BBC Scotland with support from Creative Scotland. Field of Blood was commissioned by Ewan Angus, Commissioning Editor, BBC Scotland.

A Slate North production for BBC Scotland

WK

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