10 Best BBC Adaptations Of All Time, According To IMDb



Netflix has had huge success with Bridgertonand a prequel spin-off about Queen Charlotte’s formative years is in the works. Bridgerton is based on a popular book series by Julia Quinn, so the show already had a built-in fan base. But the streaming service isn’t the first to capitalize on literary adaptations. With centuries of great literature to pull from, the BBC has produced some of television’s best adaptations that have reintroduced classic works to the masses. Although the room was somewhat dark, the elegant way the BBC brings the stories to life makes them accessible to all.

Groundbreaking miniseries like Pride and Prejudiceto lesser-known gems like Little Dorrit, adaptations have been the daily bread of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Although they’ve produced a host of great series over the years, only the best have earned high ratings on IMDb.


Hall of Wolves (2015) – 8.1

Not all BBC adaptations have to plumb the depths of classic literature and their hugely popular series hall of wolves was inspired by a series of books by the late Hilary Mantel published in the 2000s. The historical fiction miniseries chronicles the rapid rise of Thomas Cromwell, a cunning member of King Henry VIII’s court who seizes his moment after the death of Sir Thomas More.

RELATED: 10 Underrated Historical TV Shows (That You Need To Watch)

Brilliantly directed by Mark Rylance as Cromwell, the twisted drama draws heavily from shows like game of thronesfor his inspiration. Although it plays a little fast and loose with the story, the series is fast-paced and gripping from start to finish.

Women and Girls (1999) – 8.1

In Elizabeth Gaskell’s somewhat obscure opus, young Molly’s life is turned upside down when her widowed father marries a vain woman who brings with her his disagreeable daughter from a previous marriage.

Packed with all the subtle romance and beautiful period costumes that make these adaptations soar, wives and daughters had the advantage of being largely unknown to most of its audience. Generally regarded as one of the BBC’s finest period dramas, it has revived interest in a lesser-known piece of British literary history.

The Barchester Chronicles (1982) – 8.2

Based on Anthony Trollope’s series of novels, The Barchester Chronicles had a lot to take away from its seven-part miniseries adaptation. After an inquiry is opened into financial doubts at Barchester Cathedral, the new leadership leads a reform crusade to clean up the church’s image.

RELATED: 14 ​​Best BBC Dramas, Ranked According To IMDb

With Alan Rickman shining in a starring role and with the presence of veteran Donald Pleasence, the titular chronicles were well acted, to say the least. Unlike many other BBC adaptations which focus on novels of pomp and circumstance, The Barchester Chronicles is a surprisingly plot-driven story that appeals to all types of audiences.

Lark Rise at Candleford (2008–2011) – 8.2

The BBC is best known for its short miniseries based on books, but From Lark Rise to Candleford took the opportunity to make an ongoing story from a famous memoir. Young Laura Timmins leaves the familiar confines of Lark Rise for the unknown hamlet of Candleford where she begins to live with her aunt who is a town postwoman.

Drawing on the real-life experiences of author Flora Thompson, the four-season show captures the ins and outs of life in Candleford in the 19th century. The many vibrant townspeople provide a diverse cast of characters, and audiences quickly become engaged in the activities of Timmins and its new neighbors.

Little Dorrit (2008) – 8.2

The works of Charles Dickens have been adapted many times, but Little Dorrit was a classic gem that hadn’t had the same overexposure in other forms of media. Amy Dorrit spends her days working to support her family, but the sudden return of her boss’ son changes her whole outlook on life.

Dark as ever, Dickens was never afraid to portray life in 19th century England as it really was. With her father in prison for debt and her life dominated by work, Dorrit’s new adventure is a beacon of hope in the gray world of Dickens. Ranked among the best Dickens adaptations of all time, Little Dorrit was a pleasant surprise for fans of classic literature.

Jane Eyre (2006) – 8.3

Some pieces of classic literature are so beloved that adaptations are under a lot of pressure to impress, and Charlotte Brontë’s 2006 adaptation Jane Eyre did not disappoint. After becoming the governess of Thornfield Hall, young Jane soon finds herself in a whirlwind romance with the brooding and mysterious carer of her charge.

RELATED: 10 Best Jane Eyre Film Adaptations, Ranked

Usually tagged with such lofty monikers as “the greatest love story ever told,” the novel was extremely familiar to the average classics fan. Despite this, the miniseries found a way to bring the old tale to life in a new way without changing the story too much, and every scene was passionately tense from start to finish.

Dark House (2005) – 8.3

Returning once again to the Dickens well, dark house attempted to tackle one of his most notable works of long fiction. With their financial lives hanging in limbo, a family awaits the chancery court’s verdict that could make or break their future.

Although the circumstances are somewhat mysterious to modern viewers, the novel was an indictment of the twisted legal system of 19th century England. As such, the miniseries does a great job of establishing conflict, and the story’s many rich characters are where it shines the most. The best courtroom dramas are known for their suspense, and dark house has it in abundance.

North and South (2004) – 8.6

Few novels have defined the British literary scene as much as Gaskell’s seminal work. North and South. The popular miniseries tells the story of Margaret Hale, a middle-class woman from the south of England who moves to the rural north where she finds love in an unlikely place.

Overcoming prejudice was a common theme in 19th century literature, and North and South makes it the focal point of its captivating story. The brilliance of the work is that it’s still applicable today, and while the miniseries preserves the period of the book, it feels very modern.

Pride and Prejudice (1995) – 8.8

While period dramas aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, Jane Austen’s groundbreaking ’90s adaptation Pride and Prejudice continues to make waves to this day. Going against the rigid social constructs of the time, young Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fall in love.

Starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, the six-episode series has audiences falling in love with Austen’s most famous work all over again. Nailing down every emotional beat with finesse, the miniseries not only stays true to the book, but is accessible to modern audiences looking for a heartbreaking romance.

I, Claude (1976) – 8.9

Robert Graves’ Me, Claudius was a revelation when it arrived in bookstores in the 1930s, and as a miniseries it was viewed in a humorous and fascinating way. Told from the perspective of the shrunken and aged Emperor Claudius, the book tells the story of the rulers of the Roman Empire after Caesar’s death.

With a cast of superstars like Patrick Stewart and John Hurt, the expansive epic spans decades of history in an accessible and enjoyable way. Claudius is an excellent storyteller, and while a bit cheap by today’s standards, the captivating settings help immerse audiences in the early years of the Roman Empire.

NEXT: The 10 Best Historical Costume Drama Movies Of All Time, According To Metacritic

Source link


Comments are closed.