Back in 2006 James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Rebecca Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch all starred together in the low key British rom-com “Starter For Ten.” It would take a hefty chunk of change to reassemble that cast in 2012, but the BBC and HBO have managed to secure the latter two, Hall and Cumberbatch, for their co-produced miniseries “Parade’s End.” Also working on the Tom Stoppard penned novel adaptation are Rupert Everett, Miranda Richardson, Anne-Marie Duff (aka Mrs James McAvoy), Roger Allam, Janet McTeer, Jack Huston and Aussie newcomer Adelaide Clemens.
The first images from the series have now surfaced ahead of its August 16th premiere on BBC2, and at first glance everything looks lusciously period and a little bit reminiscent of ITV’s “Downton Abbey.” Maybe it’s the Edwardian setting of the British countryside and the sight of a grand country manor, or maybe it’s just that Cumberbatch’s swept blonde hair-do looks a little bit like Dan Stevens’ in the Emmy-baiting series. Other than the many pictures of Mr. Cumberbatch, there are a couple of looks at Rebecca Hall (looking as stunning as usual), but we get to see even more of the 22 year-old Clemens who will play the young suffragette Valentine Wannop.
The miniseries will adapt Ford Madox Ford’s four novels which chronicle the life of Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch), a government statistician from a wealthy family who is serving in the British Army during World War I. While Christopher is at war the novel also follows his wife Sylvia (Hall) – a socialite who seems intent on ruining her husband – and the suffragette Valentine (Clemens) with whom Cumberbatch is having an affair. The source material has popped up in many best novels lists since its original publication between 1928 and 1928, so this should represent a prestige project for the Beeb and HBO. Whether it retains the substance on screen remains to be seen when it airs over the next month. [Kinopoisk]