Based on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’urbervilles follows the fortunes of young Tess Durbeyfield whose life changes forever when her father learns that they are distant relations of the much wealthier D’urberville family. Having tried to introduce herself to the family Tess is given a position on the estate, the D’urbervilles are hiding a secret though as they have bought the D’urberyville title and are not the real heirs to the estate.
As Tess begins to develop feelings for parson’s son Angel Clare she is also being eyed by D’urberville son Alec who has wicked plans of his own for her.
Hard to believe that this sumptous looking adaptation is the BBC’s first bash at Tess of the D’urbervilles. Brilliantly cast as is typical with the BBC’s costume dramas and remarkably true to the spirit of the book. Tess is one of the great tragic heroines in literature and Hardy was at his strongest when he wrote about her.
UK / BBC One / 4×60 minute episodes / Broadcast Sunday 14 September – 5 October 2008
Writer: David Nicholls / Producer: David Snodin / Executive Producer: Kate Harwood / Director of Photography: Wojciech Szepel / Director: David Blair
GEMMA ARTERTON as Tess
IAN PULSTON-DAVIES as John Durberyfield
DONALD SUMPTER as Parson Tringham
ANNA MASSEY as Mrs D’Urberville
RUTH JONES as Joan
CHRISTOPHER FAIRBANK as Groby
HANS MATHESON as Alec D’Urberville
EDDIE REDMAYNE as Angel Clare
JODIE WHITTAKER as Izzy
LAURENCE RICHARDSON as Jack
JEANY SPARK as Mercy Chant