UK five-part mini-series “Parade’s End,” adapted from Madox Ford’s novels, will premiere on HBO February 26-28 (it aired on the BBC in 2012). Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall and Adelaide Clemens star and are directed by Susanna White. Tom Stoppard penned the drama, set in early 20th century Edwardian England.
“Parade’s End is an extraordinary series of novels, a groundbreaking work that looks at huge historical shifts in society, the end of the Edwardian era and how that’s blown apart by the First World War. It has an extraordinary take on the war in that it looks at the emotional impact in a very modern way. It deals with trauma and sanity and how to try to preserve yourself mentally when you’re under that kind of pressure. It also looks at the rise of feminism and the suffragette movement, which was something, personally, I was very drawn to. I didn’t want it to feel like traditional costume drama – I wanted it to feel like the beginning of the modern age.”
Read the synopsis and watch the teaser below:
Married to Sylvia (Rebecca Hall), a callous socialite who has given birth to a child that may not be his, English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes entranced by Valentine Wannop (Adelaide Clemens), a fearless young woman who unexpectedly turns his world upside down. As warbreaks out across Europe, Christopher, compelled by an outmoded code of conduct, feels obligated to remain loyal to his wife as he leaves a heartbroken Valentine to fight in France.
Christopher struggles to adapt to his new life as an army officer. When he returns to England briefly, suffering from shell shock, he is alarmed to discover himself the target of vicious rumors. Rejected by his father and brother, alienated from Sylvia, with only Valentine to support him, he attempts to hold on to sanity and meaning as the old world order collapses amidst tremendous upheaval.
Through Christopher’s experiences, PARADE’S END captures the devastation of war and the end of Edwardian ideals, and bridges the gap between feudal England and the dawn of modernism.