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Monday, November 30

Andrew Davies – Bonnet Drama King of the World Honored by the WGGB

Screenwriter Andrew Davies has been honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Writers' Guild of Great Britain. Quite an honor for the bonnet drama King of the UK – and the world.

Davies can thank Jane Austen for really putting the shine on his career. I still think that after fifteen years his adaptation of Pride and Prejudice still reigns supreme primarily because he did not muck about with Austen’s dialogue or plot too much and he had five hours to unfold the narrative. Having Mr. Darcy dive into the Pemberley pond did not hurt matters either, even though it was completely his invention.

The BBC announced last January that they had axed future plans for bonnet drama's in favor of contemporary fare. Davies has expressed his opinion decidely about period drama's going downmarket. None-the-less, he is presently working on a new screenplay for Middlemarch which he previously adapted in 1994. Now that the BBC has put a nix on future bonnet dramas, he must feel like a man without a country, forced to rehash a novel that he dramatised before. How sad and a bloody waste of talent. I think that the BBC has lost their heads and are running scared, hoping to appeal to a different audience. I hope that they find their footing again before Davies is gone. I am still patiently waiting for a great adaptation of Quality Street, anything by Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth or Georgette Heyer and top on my list is Lady Susan. What great classics would you like to see on tellie?

Congrats Andie! Thanks for the hours of great entertainment.

Cheers, Laurel Ann, Austenprose

7 comments:

Polonaise said...

Argh! Even BBC America has taken a turn.

I've wanted to see Evelina for years and many Heyers would make excellent tv fare. Her dialog isn't lengthy and is delightful. Not much tinkering, er, editing needed there. (Though that never stops them, does it?) Frederica or Arabella would be good choices, but These Old Shades has much Swash and adventure.

If only....

Shauna said...

May we import him for the PBS crowd and have him create for the US first and have the BBC fans wait for their turn? Just a wish...

ChaChaneen said...

Hmm good question! My vote would be The Outlanders!

Arabella said...

I'd like to see a good Moll Flanders done, rather than that odd one w/ Robin Wright Penn. I also have a strange fantasy of seeing Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Darcy.

Laurel Ann said...

LOL Arabella - Rowan Atkinson as Darcy? The title would have to be changed to The Nerds of Pride and Prejudice! Darcy would of course fall in love with Mary Bennet and Elizabeth would not hesitate one second in accepting Mr. Collins. What a different tale that would be! I rather like it as a spoof.

Arabella said...

My husband suggested that Zooey Deschanel would make a good Elizabeth opposite Rowan Atkinson. What do you think? She does have fine eyes.

Laurel Ann said...

Yes - Zooey Deschanel does have fine eyes, among other comely attributes. She would make a great Elizabeth for Rowan Atkinson's Darcy. Too funny!