Emma 2009 Masterpiece Classic Preview

Image from Emma 2009: Boxhill scene © BBC 2009 for MASTERPIECE

Mark your calendars for January 24th, 2010 at 9:00 pm for the North American premiere of the new miniseries Emma on Masterpiece Classic on PBS. Staring Romola Garai (Atonement, Daniel Deronda) as the handsome, clever and rich heroine Emma Woodhouse, this new 3 part historical drama/comedy will run on three consecutive Sundays: January 24th (2 hours), and January 31st and February 7th (1 hour ea).

Based on Jane Austen’s fourth published novel Emma, this new adaptation is by renowned screenwriter Sandy Welch (Our Mutual Friend, Jane Eyre, North And South) and aired in the UK in four one hour episodes in October 2009. It was jointly produced by the BBC and WGBH. It also stars Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone Endgame) as Mr. Knightley, and Sir Michael Gambon (Cranford) as Mr. Woodhouse. PBS has created a beautiful Emma page on their Masterpiece Classic website and this amusing video.


The DVD of Emma (region 1) will be available for purchase on February 9th, 2010 and will include 3 bonus featurettes: Emma’s Locations, Emma’s Costumes, Emma’s Music and Emma’s Mr. Woodhouse interview with Michael Gambon. This 2-disc set runs 240 minutes, which I am assuming Image of the DVD cover of Emma © BBC 2009 for MASTERPIECEincludes the running time of the special features. The UK edition of the DVD (region 2) will be available for purchase on November 30th, 2009 in the UK. The running time for the UK edition is 228 minutes.

I have seen this adaptation and am looking forward to North American viewer reaction to this unique interpretation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. I will not reveal any spoilers. I can, however, say that the costumes, locations and music are stunning. Stay tunned for more information on this production as it arrives.

Images courtesy © BBC 2009 for MASTERPIECE

8 thoughts on “Emma 2009 Masterpiece Classic Preview

  1. Already watched it.
    My opinion?
    I absolutely adored the way they portrayed Emma and Knightley’s friendship. I don’t think any adaptation has developed it as well as this version.
    I just finished writing a quick blog about it at http://aseasonwithausten.blogspot.com

    I plan to watch it again tomorrow night and purchase it as a Christmas gift.
    Absolutely lovely.

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  2. I watched the whole thing on the Y Tube and think it is one of the best Jane Austen movie adaptions of all time. Brilliantly done in every particular. :D

    I really hope next year brings another adaption just as good, if not better….of Northanger Abbey.

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  3. the costumes are beautiful and the story entertaining ,but Romola’s emma seems rather fake and unsophisticated.
    The 1996 version with Kate Beckinsale is by far my favorite and Ms. Morton’s harriet smith is flawlessly portrayed.

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  4. I did not realize that they had not released this yet in the US on Masterpeice. This adaptation certainly competes with, if not tops, the adaptation with Gweneth Paltrow, although that one holds so much nostalgia for me that I doubt anything can ever replace it.

    This one give more context to some of the characters around Emma, which I definitely appreciated. I think they did an outstanding interpretation,and although it took me a while to warm up to the new Knightley, I ended up falling for him just as much as the Knightley from my other favorite version.

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