I have been away for a few days and unfortunately missed Daniel Deronda, which was broadcast on UKTV Drama last night (Saturday), as part of their Classic Books Season. I have seen Daniel Deronda before, and was very impressed with Romola Garai in the role of Gwendolen Harleth - one of my favourite literary (anti)-heroines - and Hugh Dancy as Daniel Deronda. Daniel Deronda is a frustrating, yet brilliant work from George Eliot - and in the TV version, as with the novel, I always find myself rooting for the self-centred but charismatic Gwendolen to win Daniel's heart, instead of saccharine-sweet and godly Mirah (Jodhi May in the TV adaptation). Daniel Deronda was a lavish BBC production, but less successful it seems than most.
So far UKTV Drama's Classic Books Season has featured Moll Flanders (first broadcast on ITV), Middlemarch, Scarlet and Black, and last week, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which to my mind, was a far better Bronte adaptation (this time, Anne Bronte) than BBC1's recent Jane Eyre. Notably Toby Stephens was the love interest in both adaptations - ten years apart. And again, I warmed more to his fresh, freckle-faced farmer, Gilbert Markham, in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, than I did his brooding, witty but occasionally strained Rochester, in Jane Eyre.
The final adaptation to feature in UKTV Drama's Classic Book Season will be Austen's Persuasion, first aired in 1995 on BBC1. Having missed much of the season I am hoping these adaptations will soon be repeated.