There’s an exciting year ahead for period drama fans with the BBC’s confirmation of two new classic novel adaptations, E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End and Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White. Both are being crafted by top writers and already have an impressive cast.
The novel Howard’s End is centred around three English families in the early 20th century. It’s a complex look at Edwardian social classes, and was memorably adapted into an award-winning film in 1992, starring Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter.
This new four-episode BBC adaptation of Forster’s text is being written by Kenneth Lonergan, currently making headlines for his Oscar-nominated film Manchester By The Sea. There’s an exciting cast of period drama veterans to match too, with Hayley Atwell (The Duchess) taking the lead role of Margaret Schlegel and Matthew Mcfadyen (Pride & Prejudice) as her suitor Henry Wilcox.
Meanwhile, the novel The Woman In White is beloved as a Victorian classic. Part gripping ghost story, part early detective fiction, it’s been adapted for stage and screen multiple times, including an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical and a 1997 BBC series.
This new BBC adaptation has been written by Fiona Seres, who also wrote 2013’s The Lady Vanishes. Currently being filmed in Northern Ireland, it will star Taboo’s Jessie Buckley, Charles Dance and former Eastenders actor Ben Hardy.
As both adaptations are in production, the official air dates have not been confirmed. However, it’s likely that they will be shown on television during 2017.