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 includes 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