This Week in Period Dramas – Sunday News Roundup 13th August 2017

August 13, 2017

It’s been a crazy week with no less than two huge bombshells in the world of period dramas, along with the usual updates and articles. There’s loads to look forward to – give the stories below a read and get caught up…

Season 2 of The Crown gets its first trailer

This was the sort of news that couldn’t wait! Netflix released the first trailer for season 2 of The Crown and it is 90 seconds of pure thrilling drama. Watch it below and get excited – not too excited though, we still have to wait until December 8th.

There’s a distinctive change that can be deduced from what we can see in season 2. As mentioned frequently in my reviews of season 1, although The Crown was fascinating, there was a clear sense that the writers were being cautious of dramatising material that wouldn’t be too libellous. Some scandals were left at the door in favour of invented conversations that still wouldn’t ruffle many feathers at Buckingham Palace.

Season 2 however, seems to have an extra spoonful of bravery. Philip’s rumoured infidelity, very gently implied in season 1, actually leads this trailer and it appears to make reference to the famed allegations about a dancer. Some royal fans may take issue with this new adventurous approach but for those of us who have read up on the rumours for years, this is a bit of a treat!

Poldark producers announce new Pride and Prejudice adaptation

There’s been Pride and Prejudice adaptations released like clockwork for years, so it does seem to make sense that with 12 years passed since the Joe Wright movie, another one is on the way. Poldark producers Mammoth Screen have announced their intentions to broadcast a series for ITV, with playwright Nina Raine taking on the script.

There’s been a bit of buzz about this, not least because the producers have emphasised that this adaptation will be less ‘bonnet-y’ and see the ‘darker tones’ in the text. According to them, Nina Raine loves the novel too but has never seen a single adaptation and will be able to come in with a fresh perspective (not even seen Bridget Jones? Really?). Either way, they’re making it clear that they won’t be following by convention.

The air date is still very much unconfirmed but the new series is estimated to be shown in 2020.

Anna Paquin joins the cast of 1950s period drama Tell It to the Bees

True Blood and Alias Grace star Anna Paquin has been signed as the lead for Tell It to the Bees, a film adaptation of a 2009 novel by Fiona Shaw (the novelist, not the actress!). Set in Britain during the 1950s, it follows Dr Jean Markham (Paquin) as she returns to her childhood town and forms a romantic attachment with the mother of one of her patients (Holliday Grainger).

The production is already underway, with initial shoots taking place in Scotland, and the script was developed by assistance from the BFI with National Lottery funding. With distributors still to be confirmed, there is no set release date at present.

Mad Men‘s costume designer talks about her new period drama project

When done well, costume design in television and film can be a real art. One master of the field is Janie Bryant, who created the costumes in Mad Men throughout the duration of the 1960s-set drama. Now her work can be seen in a new project – a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel adaptation titled The Last Tycoon, set in the 1930s.

In a great article over at Bustle, Bryant gives further insight into her process and approach to costume design in period settings. It’s well worth a read for fans of costuming and Mad Men, but also takes a look at the very promising The Last Tycoon.

Check in with us next Sunday for our next news roundup.

More about Jen Scouler

Jen Scouler is a magazine journalist, film critic and the founder of Lost In Drama. With degrees in both English Literature and Digital Journalism, she has experience of writing for popular print and online publications. Jen is also devoted to her metaphorical novelist aunties - Aunt Jane, Charlotte and Jo are particular favourites - and is usually found with an Earl Grey tea in hand.

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