Mills & Boon is celebrating their 100th anniversary in business this year, so they must be doing something right! Well, many faithful readers over a century and the BBC seem to think so. The new 90 minute movie focuses on the history of the publishing house with stories of actual women behind the scenes beginning in 1918 to contemporary times. The producers have promised that it will be very raunchy - ahem - one assumes not to disappoint their many faithful readers and the BBC viewers in general since BBC Four’s slogan is “Everybody needs a place to think”. Right. Maybe they should amend that to “Everybody needs a place to _ _ _ _”?
Of note are two Jane Austen connections in the production; director Dan Zeff who brought us the new ITV Lost in Austen mini-series currently airing in the UK under much controversy and discussion, and Emilia Fox, who portrayed the sweet and innocent Georgiana Darcy in the 1995 BBC/A&E production of Pride and Prejudice. Oh my, it appears that Georgiana’s innocence many have progressed, along with the tenor of the times!
The BBC Four is renown for producing critically acclaimed costume dramas over the years such as the recent Sense and Sensibility and Cranford which made their way across the pond and onto to PBS’s Masterpiece Classics series. One wonders out loud what direction UK television is taking to attract a wider and younger audience, and if adaptations of classic novels by Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell are now passé? The BBC recently confirmed its commitment to period drama, so let's hope that we won't be teased with these imitations and parodies such as Lost in Austen which are quite diverting, but not the real thing.
Laurel Ann, Austenprose