Jane Austen's famous comedy of manners and romance is once more developed for the screen in the grand traditions of the BBC costume drama. Adapted by Andrew Davies after his success with the television adaptation of George Elliot's 'Middlemarch', the series was the BBC's flagship drama in the Autumn 1995 schedule. The story revolves around the arrival of the wealthy Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) and party and the excitement he causes amongst the five daughters of the Bennett family.
In spite of the quality of the more recent Keira Knightley-starring big-screen interpretation, its the mid-90s BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice
thats still regarding by many as the definitive telling of Jane Austens classic.
Featuring, as many swooning admirers will already know, Colin Firth in a career-topping performance as Mr Darcy, Pride and Prejudice is the timeless tale of seemingly impossible romance. On one hand, theres the wealthy, single Mr Darcy, and on the other is Elizabeth, a woman Darcy believes is beneath him. Across six sumptuous hours of this classic mini-series, their story then slowly bubbles, aided by some excellent supporting performances. Nods must go to the likes of Jennifer Ehle, Susannah Harker, Anna Chancellor and Julia Sawalha, to highlight but a handful.
Its not just in front of the camera where Pride and Prejudice scores, though. The production values are absolutely outstanding, with this really a watermark for BBC costume drama production. Add in Simon Langtons diligent direction, and this is one of those rare occasions where everything seemingly effortlessly falls into place, with outstanding end results.
Over ten years since it was first broadcast, the particular take on Pride and Prejudice remains as vital, moving and compelling as it was first time round. And if its ever topped, its going to take something really, really special to do it
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.