Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle, South Riding) Matthew Rhys (Brothers And Sisters, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood) and Matthew Goode (Dancing On The Edge, Birdsong) have been cast as Jane Austen’s iconic literary characters Elizabeth Bennett, Fitzwilliam Darcy and George Wickham in BBC One’s unmissable treat Death Comes To Pemberley.
Adapted by Juliette Towhidi (Calendar Girls) from PD James’ internationally bestselling novel, this gripping and suspenseful 3×60-minute serial will be made for the channel by Origin Pictures and directed by BAFTA award-winning director Daniel Percival (Dirty War, Place Of Execution).
David Thompson, executive producer for Origin Pictures, says: “We’re delighted to be filming this witty, original and beautifully imagined book from Britain’s best loved crime writer – murder and Jane Austen, a delicious combination! This will be a very unexpected and audacious period drama. And we are so pleased with the cast that have been drawn to it: Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Goode and the others will bring real sparkle to the screen.”
In this, the 200th anniversary year of the first publication of Pride And Prejudice, PD James’ remarkably inventive homage to Austen brings her much-loved world to life in a dazzling and original way with Austen’s best-known characters, Elizabeth (Maxwell Martin) Darcy (Rhys) and Wickham (Goode) at its heart.
Matthew Rhys comments: “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who’ve institutionalised him in the past. The beauty of ‘Pemberley’ is that it is an entirely new and different Darcy six years on. (And also, I don’t have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches.)”
Matthew Goode adds: “I’m thrilled to be involved in this adaptation of Death Comes To Pemberley. I have long been an admirer of Jane Austen and in particular of Pride And Prejudice. More exciting still is the chance to work with Matthew Rhys, who is not only one of the most talented actors of my generation but also the most fun!”
Elizabeth and Darcy, now six years married and with two young sons, are preparing for the lavish annual ball at their magnificent Pemberley home. The unannounced arrival of Elizabeth’s wayward sister Lydia, however, brings an abrupt and shocking halt to proceedings when she stumbles out of her chaise screaming that her husband Wickham has been murdered.
Darcy leads a search party out to the woodlands, and when they discover the blood-smeared corpse not of Wickham, but his traveling companion. Suspicion is at once aroused. The dramatic and unnerving events of the evening have shattered the peace both of the Darcys and of Pemberley, and as the family becomes caught up in the ensuing murder investigation, a mysterious web of secrets and deceit will threaten all that the Darcys hold dear…
Filming will begin in June on location in Yorkshire and has been supported with investment from Screen Yorkshire.