April 29, 2012

Addicted: Five Favorite BBC Classic Series

Now that I'm whittling away at a historical novel set in Victorian England, I'm revisiting a lot of old British TV favorites. Every time I watch these series, I am reminded of how much I love stories from the past, particularly Victorian ones as told by the BBC. Though these are period pieces, their stories are timeless.

#5--The Forsyte Saga
This is one of the lesser known Masterpiece Theatre series, I think because of the less familiar name. The Forsyte Saga is the story of a family over a generation, and all of the pitfalls and struggles of love with the restrictions of class and money. Gorgeous sets and clothes, with unflinching portrayals of cruelty within a powerful family.

#4--Jane Eyre
The classic story of the young governess Jane Eyre, done by Masterpiece Theatre in sumptuous period setting, with plenty of angst. Casting for this was excellent.

 #3--Pride & Prejudice
Really, do I need to say more than Colin Firth? Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite stories to watch adaptations of on the big screen--I really enjoyed the most recent film, but there's something too awesome about this mini-series. P&P deserves the extra hours to unfold.

#2--Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey isn't quite as early period as the other series I'm spotlighting, but it's undeniably awesome. From the ridiculously detailed sets and costumes to the gorgeous soundtrack, this series is a lush treat that follows the fictional Crawley family, highlighting the changing times and how those events effect both the upstairs and downstairs at an aristocratic estate. Plus, anything created by Julian Fellowes is guaranteed to be off the hook.

 #1--North & South
My novel is also set in the Victorian era, but long before I began writing it, I'd watched this BBC series no fewer than five times. It's crazy--or at least, it drove my husband crazy. But I'm team Thornton all the way! North & South is a four-part retelling of Elizabeth Gaskell's 19th century novel about the unlikely love story between Margaret Hale and John Thornton, in a time when England was in a state of intellectual and scientific revolution unlike any seen before. Yearning, conflict, progress--all wrapped up in a luscious Victorian setting. If you missed it, treat yourself.


  1. "Pride and Prejudice" and "North and South" are two of my all time favorite movies. I'm not sure I could exist without them! It might be an addiction. LOL! But seriously... John Thornton? Mr. Darcy? I'm not sure it gets any better than that! Great post. :)

  2. I tell you what, I just watched "Bird Song" on PBS from Masterpiece, and I am IN LOVE! It's a delicious, lush, gorgeous story set in the first world war. If you have not seen it, RUN to the nearest computer and watch it now.


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