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Wuthering Heights (ITV Drama, Charlotte Riley, Tom Hardy)

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Peter Bowker’s two-part adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic novel of doomed love of Wuthering Heights.

In the first instalment, free-spirited Cathy Earnshaw (Charlotte Riley) grows up on the Yorkshire moors with the brooding Heathcliff (Tom Hardy), an orphan who was brought up by her kindly parents.

As the pair get older, their relationship turns into a passionate but tempestuous love affair, even though Heathcliff has been reduced to the rank of stable boy by Cathy’s brother Hindley (Burn Gorman), who becomes master of the estate after the death of his father. When Cathy comes of age she must choose between Heathcliff and Edgar Linton (Andrew Lincoln), who offers her a life of comfort and wealth.

The decision she makes has repercussions over the years and affects two generations, leading to the entrapment of her daughter Catherine (Rebecca Night) at Wuthering Heights, the Earnshaw family home.

In the concluding episode, Heathcliff returns, throwing Cathy’s life with Edgar into turmoil. Heathcliff goes about exacting revenge on Hindley, who always resented him. Meanwhile, Isabella (Rosalind Halstead) struggles in her relationship with Heathcliff, and learns that being hated by him is better than being loved by him. Can Catherine’s courageous spirit free her from Heathcliff’s grasp? And can the tormented Heathcliff ever find peace?

Cast: Tom Hardy (Heathcliff), Charlotte Riley (Cathy), Andrew Lincoln (Edgar), Sarah Lancashire (Nelly), Burn Gorman (Hindley), Rosalind Halstead (Isabella), Rebecca Night (Catherine), Tom Payne (Linton), Andrew Hawley (Hareton), Kevin R. McNally (Mr Earnshaw), Des McAleer (Joseph), Shaughan Seymour (Doctor Kenneth), Sia Berkeley (Frances), James Harper (Vicar), Barnaby Kay (Saul), Jack O’Connell (Shepherd Lad), Simon Kassianides (Gypsy Horse Trader), John Hollingworth (Robert), Declan Wheeldon (Young Heathcliff), Alexandra Pearson (Young Cathy), Joseph Taylor (Young Hindley)

Writer: Peter Bowker / Novel: Emily Brontë / Music: Ruth Barrett / Director of photography: Ulf Brantas / Production Design: Grenville Horner / Executive Producers: Hugo Heppell, Rebecca Eaton, Peter Bowker, Michele Buck and Damien Timmer / Producer: Radford Neville / Director: Coky Giedroyc

UK / ITV – Mammoth Screen – WGBH Boston – Screen Yorkshire / 2×75 minutes / Broadcast 30 – 31 August 2009