The ITV trailer for the new Jane Austen season is due to air from the 26th February (that's tomorrow!). For a sneak preview see: Guardian Organgrinder.
All three new telefilms look lush and lovely so far. Rupert Penry-Jones is set to wow female audiences as Wentworth in Persuasion, that's for certain. Although JJ Feild might not do himself too much harm in the period drama heart-throb ratings, judging from the very brief glimpse we have here of Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey. Felicity Jones looks exquisite as Catherine Morland. No doubt there will be numerous comments passed over the unruly state of Billie Piper's hair as Fanny Price in Mansfield Park. I can only assume we are meant to believe she is most certainly not yet 'out' in this version (which is true of course, up to the dance held in her honour).
All in all I'm busting for this season to get underway. Word has it that Mansfield Park might air on the 18th March, which is also Mother's Day in the UK of course. I'm half-expecting, with an advertising campaign kicking off tomorrow, that the first Austen adaptation will air the following Sunday. At a guess - again, complete unfounded speculation - the 1997 Emma will be shown first, or perhaps ITV will want to launch with one of its new incarnations?
Or .... perhaps ITV will run the telefilms in order of 'writing' (rather than publication), so that Northanger Abbey will air first, followed by Mansfield Park (on the 18th), then Emma, then Persuasion. However, judging by the buzz circulating, it's my guess that Persuasion is garnering greatest interest, so perhaps that would be the best film to kick off the season.
Alternatively, Billie Piper as Fanny in Mansfield Park is probably the biggest 'name' - plus this adaptation features ex-Eastender Michelle Ryan, which might mean this is the opener, likely to draw the widest audience based on name recognition alone. If so, then the season would take off on Mother's Day. Who knows?? Any info would be much appreciated!
As for the BBC's Sense and Sensibility, to be adapted by Andrew Davies, we have some casting rumours courtesy of Austenblog. Rumours suggest Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood, Charity Wakefield as her sister Marianne and Dominic Cooper as Edward Ferrars.