Now, where to begin. Romola Garai struck me as an odd choice for Emma and it took me at least two episodes to warm to her, a little like when I first read the novel actually. The character of Emma as we all know is a little irritating at first and Romola, whether intentional or not, was able to portray that. Like with the novel you have to acclimatise yourself to her character to understand her actions and this adaptation took me on the same journey. By the end I was welling up with tears waiting on her running after Knightley. Fantastic job well done.
The supporting cast is outstanding. Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse was bizarre for me, mainly because I cannot hear his voice without thinking Dumbledore, but he was wonderful. The Elton's are expertly cast, Tamsin Greig as Miss. Bates was glorious! Harriet was sweet and charming even if far too pretty to have even been considered for the role! and then there is Knightley. Jonny Lee Miller is one of my all time favourites. I'm in that rare camp of people who ADORE the 1999 adaptation of Mansfield Park (largely because of Jonny Lee Miller as Edmund) so seeing him in a more mature role was just perfection.
There is little point in commenting on the quality of the production. The BBC are top of the food chain when it comes to period dramas, and especially with Austen adaptations. The costumes were divine. Like the 2008 S&S they were bright and playful, more fun to look at than the standard white muslin Austen adaptations of late have been swarming with. The (or apparent lack of) make-up was beautiful, and the hair was perfect.
Finally an adaptation of Emma that is the appropriate length and just as irritating, funny and romantic as the book!!