Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Episode 1

Episode 1 of 6

Drama series set in 19th-century industrial London, following vagabond English artists the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The boys set out to find a muse to inspire their best work.

Drama series set in and among the alleys, galleries and flesh-houses of 19th-century industrial London, following the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a vagabond group of English painters, poets and critics.

Some artists want lasting fame. Some want money. Others want sex. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood want all of it. These ambitious young men - the darkly handsome Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the brilliant and conflicted William Holman Hunt, and the preternaturally talented John Millais - are out to rock the art world with a style of painting that is, according to them, more true, real and heartfelt than anything seen for 300 years.

Unfortunately, the art world isn't much interested in a bunch of young iconoclasts raging against the 'Establishment' of the Royal Academy - particularly when one of that set, the shamelessly arrogant Rossetti, has yet to learn to paint.

The boys need to step up a gear, and so they set out to find a muse to inspire their best work yet. Cue Fred Walters - an aspiring young journo and longtime fan of the boys. Fred spots the dazzling and radiant redhead, Lizzie Siddal, at the back of a hatshop, and introduces her to the boys. They are thoroughly bewitched by Lizzie and before long are squabbling over who'll get to paint her first (and fall in love with her too, of course).

Next, they must find an influential figure to champion their work. Again with the help of Fred, they set about wooing the leading art critic of the day, the great John Ruskin. But given their lack of kudos, can they persuade Ruskin to make an appearance at an exhibition of their work? And, if they can persuade him to come, will their work be good enough to convince him to lend them his weighty support?

1 hour

Last on

Thu 4 Mar 2010 22:50

More episodes

Previous

You are at the first episode

Next

See all episodes from Desperate Romantics

Credits

Role Contributor
William 'Maniac' Holman Hunt Rafe Spall
Dante Gabriel Rossetti Aidan Turner
John Ruskin Tom Hollander
John Millais Samuel Barnett
Fred Walters Sam Crane
Effie Ruskin Zoe Tapper
Lizzie Siddal Amy Manson
Annie Miller Jennie Jacques
Mr Stone Phil Davis
Mr Stone Phil Davis
Mr Siddal Ian Puleston-Davies
Mrs Siddal Polly Kemp
Charlotte Siddal Josie Farmiloe
Mr Chadwick Mark Benton
Charles Dickens Mark Heap
Margaret Maimie McCoy
Madame Kath Burlinson
Executive Producer Hilary Salmon
Executive Producer Hilary Salmon
Executive Producer Franny Moyle
Executive Producer Franny Moyle
Producer Ben Evans
Producer Ben Evans
Director Paul Gay
Director Paul Gay
Writer Peter Bowker
Writer Peter Bowker

Broadcasts

  • Tue 21 Jul 2009 21:00
  • Sun 26 Jul 2009 22:00
  • Tue 28 Jul 2009 02:05
  • Thu 4 Mar 2010 22:50