TV UK TV

Woman in White, The (BBC1 1997, Tara Fitzgerald, James Wilby)

The Woman in White

Period mystery serial The Woman in White, written by Wilkie Collins in 1860, was one of the great spooky novels of the Victorian era. The story has been adapted many times for television, most recently with this big budget production.

The story begins when two half-sisters, Marian and Laura, are introduced to ghost stories by their tutor Walter Hartright who scares them with tales of a sinister woman dressed in white. The girls are convinced that all is not as it seems though and think the ghostly figure may be linked to Sir Percival Glyde whom Laura has been betrothed by her less than nice Uncle.

Despite some simplification of the plot to fit this large novel into a two hour running time, the drama does have a great sense of atmosphere and the all star cast are clearly relishing the opportunity to “frock up”.

production details
UK / BBC1 – Carlton / 2×65 minute episodes / Broadcast 28 – 29 December 1997

Writer: David Pirie / Novel: Wilkie Collins / Producer: Gareth Neame / Director: Tim Fywell

cast
Tara Fitzgerald as Marion
Justine Waddell as Laura
James Wilby as Sir Percival Glyde
Simon Callow as Count Fosco
Ian Richardson as Mr Fairlie
Adie Allen as Margaret Porcher
Andrew Lincoln as Walter Hartright
John Standing as Mr Gilmore
Susan Vidler as Anne Catherick
Ann Bell as Mrs Rideout
Anne Etchells as Liza
Timothy Carlton as Glyde’s Lawyer
Corin Redgrave as Doctor Kidson
Kika Markham as Madame Fosco
Eric Carte as Marian’s Father