The BBC has made a litany of hit shows from the pop culture darlings like Doctor Who and Sherlock, to the well-loved period dramas like Victoria, Call the Midwife, and Downton Abbey. But the BBC is definitely not resting on its laurels. The broadcasting behemoth is aware of the rapidly changing landscapes of television and how viewers consume entertainment, and they’re working to create shows that not only capture viewer’s attention, but stay ahead of the cultural curve. While there are a great number of stories headed our way that the BBC controller Pete Wenger said in a Variety article that have a “strong streak of Britishness,” there are two adaptations in particular that have got us really excited.
The first is a three-part television adaptation of H.G. Wells classic novel War of the Worlds. While this isn’t the first time the Wells’ story has been brought to life (most recently by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise in his 2005 film), we’re excited to see a new take on the book. The script will be penned by Peter Harness, who wrote the BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell and also wrote the instant classic Capaldi-era Doctor Who episodes “The Zygon Invasion” and “The Zygon Inversion.” Harness is well aware of the stakes in creating the first British adaptation of the Wells novel, and he recognizes it as one of the very first sci-fi stories to captivate readers. Production is set to start early 2018.
BBC Drama is also bringing another well-loved novel to the small screen: Little Women. Like War of the Worlds, the Louisa May Alcott’s novel has also been adapted to the big and small screen several times, and most fans have an adaptation of the film that they still love a great deal. Regardless, we haven’t seen a new adaptation of Little Women since 1994, so the BBC is hoping to introduce a whole new generation of readers to the story of the four March sisters. The creator of Call the Midwife, Heidi Thomas, will be adapting Alcott’s novel into a three-part television event under the direction of Vanessa Caswill, and production is set to kick off in July.
Other shows that the BBC will be bringing to life will be an adaptation of Black Narcissus, a Northern Ireland-set drama called Come Home, and an eight-part crime drama Giri/Haji, about an aging Tokyo detective searching London for his younger brother who is accused of murder, which will stream in the US via Netflix, among many more. All of these new shows are in the early stages of production, but it looks like British television fans are going to have a lot of great content coming soon.
What shows are you most excited about? Are you ready for a new adaptation of Little Women and War of the Worlds? What do you hope to see in those adaptations? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
Feature Image: Columbia Pictures
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