Hello, everyone! Miniseries adaptations of the classics have always been a favourite of mine. We all know those novels, even if we haven't read some of them. A number of them are huge, but the miniseries format means that there is enough time for the story to fully develop. There were a lot of such adaptations through the years and some classics have been adapted several times. In this list, I will count my favourite miniseries adaptations. But, in order to include everything, I will put only one title per author (otherwise it would be a Jane Austen list).
10 Miniseries adaptations worth checking out
10. Tess of the D'Urbervilles (2008)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles, a novel by Thomas Hardy, was first published in 1891. It's the story of a poor girl, whose family finds out that they have noble connections. At the time of its publication. this novel shocked the readers. The adaptation was made by Dave Nicholls and stars Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne.
Victor Hugo's novel was adapted for the big screen and the television numerous times. But, my absolutely favourite is this one from 2000. Both Gerard Depardieu and John Malkovich are ideal for the roles of Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert. Plus this miniseries is in French and this gives a lot to the result.
8. The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
This novel is actually a new classic since it was first published in 1989. It's an epic story that takes place in 12th century England. It revolves around the construction of a Gothic cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge and the struggle between good and evil.
7. He Knew He Was Right (2004)
Anthony Trollope's drama about a man who cannot trust his wife is considered by many his greatest novel. The miniseries was directed by Tom Vaughan and the adaptation was made by Andrew Davies.
6. Daniel Deronda (2002)
Daniel Deronda is the last novel that George Eliot completed and the only one set in the Victorian society. It's a social satire and a moral searching, as well as a sympathetic rendering of Jewish ideas. The novel was adapted by Andrew Davies, the miniseries was directed by Tom Hooper and starred Hugh Dancy and Romola Garai.
5. Jane Eyre (1983)
One of the most adapted novels is without a question Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. My favourite adaptation is this one, of 1983. It's longer than the rest of the miniseries, having 11 episodes. Timothy Dalton's is by far my favourite portrayal of Rochester.
4. Parade's End (2012)
Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford takes place during the World War I. A love triangle is formed between the old-fashioned Christopher Tietjens, his vindictive wife Sylvia and the young suffragette Valentine Wannop. The show cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher, Rebecca Hall as Sylvia and Adelaide Clemens as Valentine.
3. Little Dorrit (2008)
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens satirizes the shortcomings of both government and society, especially the institution of debtor's prison. The miniseries adaptation is critically acclaimed and won seven Emmy Awards, including the Outstanding Miniseries Award. It's the longest show on the list with 14 episodes.
2. North and South (2004)
Elizabeth Gaskell's great love story is one of my favourite novels of all time. Margaret Hale is forced to move to the north town of Milton after her father decides to leave the clergy. There she meets the Thorton family, who ran one of the biggest cotton mills of the town and despise their inferiors. This story, apart from the romance, explores the themes of gender and class.
1. Sense and Sensibility (2008)
This was the most difficult decision I had to take. There are so many adaptations of Jane Austen's novels! So, I decided not to include one the well-known, like Pride and Prejudice (1995) or Persuasion (1995). Instead, my number 1 pick for the miniseries adaptations is Sense and Sensibility from 2008. This show was so beautifully directed, the cast was so suitable for the characters, I can't really have to say much, apart from urging you to watch it.
Do you watch miniseries adaptations? Which ones are your favourites? If you have any other suggestions for future lists, please feel free to let me know!