“It is 20 years since Mr Darcy strode sodden from the lake in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Television – and Jane Austen – have never been the same…” Nicolas Barber, the BBC, on 22 September.
In September 1995 BBC aired a miniseries based on Jane Austen´s novel Pride and Prejudice. It turned out to be a huge success. We were glued to the tv screens wondering if there was any hope at all for Lizzie Bennet and Mr Darcy. Little did we know that twenty years later we would still be talking about it. This adaptation entered popular culture and has never really left. At the moment in particular “P&P95” is everywhere on social media. Time will tell if Downton Abbey is up there in the same league…
This faithful adaptation with its excellent cast and production values is the reason to the revived interest in all things Jane Austen and the Regency era. Not to mention Darcymania, Colin Firth´s ticket to stardom, Bridget Jones, zombies, Austenland, costume exhibitions, sequels, and endless discussions – about adaptations, and how desperate, exactly, are the Bennets´finances, and haven´t we seen certain costumes in later productions? I could go on.
Colin Firth will always be dear Mrs E´s favourite actor. (It is always fun to tease her about it!) I have been a great admirer of Jennifer Ehle since Camomile Lawn (1992) and watching her brilliant interpretation of Elizabeth Bennet gets me every time. The other characters are wonderful (and annoying), of course, only mentioning Mrs Bennet, Mr Collins, and Miss Bingley here.
Here is a selection of links to some interesting reading:
The BBC features an interview with Andrew Davies, read it here.
Writes Mary Sollosi on Entertainment Weekly: 6 reasons we still love the Pride and Prejudice miniseries after 20 years.
Jennifer Ehle was interviewed earlier this year: Jennifer Ehle: on nude scenes, Pride and Prejudice and why she doesn’t want fame.
And even earlier, in January, Colin Firth commented on the lake scene.
I find it very soothing to watch one or two episodes when real life is particularily hectic, or if I need some inspiration for new costume projects. And Mr Beveridge´s Maggot is a favourite dance with everybody I know, once you master the steps.
How many of you still watch the series at least once every year? Do you have six-hour marathons or do you prefer certain scenes or episodes?
Tolerable I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me: