Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

April 19, 2006

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Filed under: Articles,BBC,Films,Interviews,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 1:10 pm

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – a new drama adaptation for BBC ONE


From the BBC Press Office (Thanks to Alison for the tip!):

Newcomer Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre) and Toby Stephens (Edward Rochester) head up an all-star cast in a passionate new version of the much-adored classic Jane Eyre for BBC ONE.The four-part serial also stars Francesca Annis as Lady Ingram, Christina Cole as Blanche Ingram, Lorraine Ashbourne as Mrs Fairfax, Pam Ferris as Grace Poole and Tara Fitzgerald as Mrs Reed.

Georgie Henley, who recently starred in the Christmas blockbuster The Chronicles of Narnia plays young Jane while Aidan McArdle plays the visionary John Eshton. The drama is currently filming entirely on location in Derbyshire.

Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning says: "Sandy Welch's wonderful version of Jane Eyre for BBC ONE will add that special ingredient to the mix of dramas due for transmission this autumn, which includes the new series of Robin Hood; Lizzie Mickery and Dan Percival's conspiracy thriller, State Within; Sally Wainwright's heart-warming series The Amazing Mrs Pritchard plus Russell T Davies's Torchwood for BBC THREE."

The sustainability and appeal of Jane Eyre lies in her universality and the audience's appetite for a well-told romantic tale.

Orphaned at a young age, Jane (Ruth Wilson) is placed with her wealthy aunt Mrs Reed (Tara Fitzgerald) who neglects Jane in favour of her own three spoiled children.

Mrs Reed's spitefulness leads her to withhold news that could change Jane's life for the better.

Instead she brands her a liar and sends Jane to Lowood School where she remains until the age of 19.

When she finally leaves the dark memories of Lowood behind, she embarks on a career as a governess and her first position is at Thornfield Hall, the home of the alluring and unpredictable Edward Rochester.

Jane's journey into the world and as a woman begins.

Producer Diederick Santer adds: "In her brand new adaptation of Jane Eyre, Sandy Welch has mined Bronte's novel for every ounce of passion, drama, colour, madness and horror available, bringing to life Jane's inner world with beauty, humour and at times great sadness.

"The locations we have chosen are stormy and majestic and I hope that Sandy's original take on the story will be enjoyed as much by long-term fans of the book as by those who have never read it."

Filming is underway until June at the historical medieval castle Haddon Hall, owned by Lord Edward Manners, and other locations across Derbyshire.

Jane Eyre is adapted by Sandy Welch (North and South, Magnificent Seven), directed by Susanna White (Bleak House) and the Executive Producer is Phillippa Giles.

The 'visionary John Eshton'?? What on earth can that mean? Humour, humour is good! Yes, I certainly cannot wait to see this. Also, as previously reported, it is confirmed for autumn not December, which is more good news!

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April 18, 2006

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Filed under: Audio Clips,BBC,Jane Eyre,Media,Radio,The Literary Misfits — by bronteana @ 10:40 pm

The Case of the Scream in the Night

After waiting the 4 hours it took for my computer to download this, the first episode of BBC Northern Ireland's Literary Misfits, I have a few thoughts. There will be spoilers so I will get to the links first, and if anyone would like to continue reading they may.

You can listen online here or download the episode as a wmp (made by Thisbeciel) here: The Case of the Scream in the Night

So, this was very amusing. It was amusing for a lot of reasons. I suppose the first thing is hearing Jane Eyre played by an Irishman. It was strange, and it was also a nice change (because of the northern accent). The premise is that Jane decides to go to Sherlock Holmes for some help before she marries Mr Rochester. Hilarity (at least in my view) ensues as Mr.Watson begins to fall in love with this small creature 'who looked like a small animal.' The show gets progressively silly to the point where I burst into laughter when Mr Rochester finally shows up. But I'm getting ahead of myself… We do learn some very interesting things about the Rochesters. Sherlock has deduced that Old Rochester made his fortune from sugar plantations and that Thornfield is not aged by any means but a new building placed upon the barn… he can tell all of this because Jane had two lumps of sugar in her tea- quite incongruous with 'the masocistic governess class' etc. No, indeed, this is indicative of the sugar addiction which the residents of Thornfield suffer from, sugar being the source of their wealth.

There was also a lengthy digression about Northern Ireland which was amusing for its own sake, considering that this is a BBC Northern Ireland production. However, if I may pick up my sleuth hat for a moment, I see a problem with Mr.Holmes' conclusions. Firstly, Mr.Bronte was not from county Antrim, but from county Down. But more significantly, while he is so tied up with detailing how Rochester has disappeared to drug and smuggle his wife out of the country, he doesn't notice something very odd about Rochester when he meets him. Yes, something very odd indeed (I mean, apart from the hysterical ravings from Watson that Rochester has massive legs like oak trees and is able to hide a large dog in his coat). My dear Holmes, your Mr Rochester is not Mr Rochester at all! It is all elementary:

Before Jane's visit to Baker Street to investigate the strange scream from the attic, Mr Rochester- who admitted to Jane that he had heard it as well- mysteriously vanishes. Jane's fears drive her to seek help. In the meantime, Heathcliff has taken his chance to become a respected member of the landed class and ambrushes Mr Rochester while he is out raking swaths, and steals his identity (listen carefully to his description. It doesn't match Mr Rochester in the least but it does sound an awful lot like Heathcliff). Oh, his dog steals Pilot's identity too. And, uhm, Mr Rochester looses his memory and becomes a Literature professor in Belgium; he has never liked being an idle gentleman, loves allusions and wordplay, and as a result of his injuries has forgotten his first language and now speaks only his second- French. Pilot is adopted by Lanseer who paints a lot of Newfoundland Dog pictures, making the breed famous.

That is what really happened! But Holmes obviously hasn't read WH

April 12, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre (1996),Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Locations,Media,TV — by bronteana @ 10:49 pm

'Haddon Hall is on fire!'

I was right! Voila! Thanks to Mrs. Dionysius O'Gall: a lovely article on the new BBC Jane Eyre, being filmed at Haddon Hall- just as my gossipy sources said! (the flames apparently alarmed motorists on the A6 and a fire engine was called). Read it all here. A few excerpts:

Charlotte Bronté's much-loved novel has of course been brought to the screen many times below.

And when Franco Zefirelli shot the story ten years ago, he too chose Haddon Hall as the perfect Thornfield – an imposing house where Jane meets her true love Rochester.The result was, according to this Jane Eyre's producer Diederick Santer, "quite a bad film", but Santer agrees with Zeferelli on one thing – Haddon Hall is Thornfield."It's this wonderful, atmospheric, medieval castle. It feels like it's been here since the beginning of time – and in a way it has been. It offers everything we need and it wasn't a difficult decision to make."

[…]

And starlet Ruth Wilson, who was cast as Jane fresh from drama school ("she's going to be huge!", promises Diederick), has also fallen in love with Haddon: "It makes it so easy to act with all this history around you."

[…]

So when Jane Eyre finally reaches the screen in the autumn, you won't have to look too closely to find a local flavour to what's likely to be a global hit.

..Autumn, eh? …Hmn. And those would be our first words from Ms.Wilson!

Picture of producer Diederick Santer outside Haddon Hall.

April 8, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 5:25 pm

More Cast for Jane Eyre 2006

Courtesy of imbd.com (who still have not rectified the Ruth Wilson error on their page… )

Cast (in credits order)

Ruth Wilson… Jane Eyre
Toby Stephens…. Edward Fairfax Rochester

rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Francesca Annis…. Lady Ingram
Lorraine Ashbourne…. Mrs. Fairfax
Christina Cole…. Blanche Ingram
Pam Ferris…. Grace Poole
Tara Fitzgerald…. Mrs. Reed
Georgie Henley…. Young Jane Eyre
Aidan McArdle …. Mr. Eshton

Bronteblog also informs us that Miss Temple will be played by Charity Wakefield.

ETA: Hm. It looks like we have established a tradition of blond Blanche Ingrams. This would be the third such Blanche in a row.

April 5, 2006

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Jane Eyre 2006 Imdb Page Correction (and WonderJane)

After being notified that there is a wee error on the page, I have sent them a request for an update and a correction. The wee error is that the Ruth Wilson currently linked from the page, and listed as playing Jane Eyre is in fact the wrong Ruth Wilson. This would be the 48 year old Ruth Wilson, rather than the 24 year old who doesn't have a page of her own- yet. Hopefully, when they get to my request next month, she will have (yes, she will! She will!).

This next bit doesn't deserve a post of its own… I came across this this morning. It is one of the more amusing and random Bronte references in a long while:

April Fool Contender: Lindsay Lohan

[…]

Foolish Justification for Foolish Behavior: She told Web site thesun.co.uk: "Wonder Woman would be cool. I'm trying to find roles right now that are different to anything I've done to show my abilities, to show that I have some sort of stretch in me." We are talking Wonder Woman, with the starry Underoos and golden eagle breastplates, aren't we? It's not exactly Jane Eyre, although I can speculate that you can improve any story with impressive cleavage, red boots, bullet-deflecting bracelets and a lasso of truth.

You would think so, would you not? And yet…

Although the lasso of truth might come in handy.

(Illustration is from the Classics Illustrated Jane Eyre)

April 3, 2006

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Jane Eyre 1973 Available for Pre-Order in the U.S.


Well, last week I emailed BBC America. They informed me that they have no plans to release Tenant of Wildfell Hall, although it has recently been released on DVD in the UK. As for my questions about the release of Jane Eyre with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston they said nothing at all. Ah well, Thisbeciel has come through for us once again!

Jane Eyre 1973 can now be pre-ordered from this American website.

The American release date is: June 27, 2006 .

They also have a link for Canadian customers.

The price is $39.98 for the 2 DVD set, ($49.98 Canadian). And here's what they have to say about the production:

Jane Eyre is the moving story of an unwanted orphan girl in mid-19th century England , her spirited fight against adversity and her search for love and happiness in a harsh, class-ridden society. Stars Sorcha Cusack (The Real Charlotte) as Jane and Michael Jayston (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) as Mr. Rochester in the best-loved BBC adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece.

And if you don't believe it is best-loved… why, just look here, here, here, and here… and well… this very blog! And you must remember that it hasn't been seen for more than 30 years in most places. I personally cannot wait to see the production in full!

The price might drop- I see that the BBC lowered their price for the DVD 3 pounds in one week.

March 30, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 12:02 am

More Casting and News on Jane Eyre 2006


It looks like we have our young Jane, as well! The delightful Georgie Henley (Lucy Pevensie in the latest film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) is going to play Jane in the new BBC production- and, it looks like we can expect a Christmas release!

From Georgie-Henley.com:
It has been confirmed to me personally by Georgie's management and agency that she will indeed be appearing in a new role: The BBC's (UK), "Jane Eyre" at Christmas time.

The website indeed also claims the production will be airing in December.

Bronteblog also informs us that the imdb.com page for the production now lists Derbyshire as a filming locale so perhaps the earlier report on filming taking place last week at Haddon Hall is spot on.

I was surprised by the casting choice, but not at all displeased! I think she is a talented young actress and resembles Ruth Wilson's rather elfish look. Miss Henley's second Narnia film is also scheduled to come out in December. The picture is from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

March 28, 2006

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At Last! Jane Eyre 1973 Available for Pre-Ordering

Let the stampede begin, for all of you Britishers- ">pre-order the DVD from the BBC here. The rest of us will now look on broodingly until it comes out in region one. I would like to remind those who will likely be disturbed by the delay that from the start we had assurances that it will be coming out in region one, so never fear. I have emailed BBC America this morning, hoping to hear news of when it will be available here as well as Tenant of Wildfell Hall which is still unavailable in region one.

Jane Eyre 1973 costs £19.99
Product Ref: 877564
Official release date for region 2: 08/05/2006
Duration: 4 hours, 35 minutes

Starring Sorcha Cusack (Tame) and Michael Jayston (Flesh And Blood), this 1973 BBC television adaption of the classics novel follows the fortunes of heroine Jane Eyre who begins her life as an orphan without a penny to her name.

Jane Eyre is a poor orphan, brought up by a wealthy Aunt who is determined she should never forget her impoverished background. Surviving the cruelty of an oppressive boarding school, she becomes the governess of Thornfield Hall, owned by the enigmatic and rarely seen Mr Rochester. When Jane finally meets Mr Rochester in the flesh, she is consumed by an overwhelming attraction towards him that soon becomes mutual, however, their hopes for happiness will soon be jeopardized by a terrible secret.

March 23, 2006

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BBC Jane Eyre 2006

Now has it's own page on the Internet Movie Database. There is nothing there at all- just the title, date, and that it will be produced by the BBC. Nothing new, therefore, but news might break there in the near future. Also, somewhat new, I have a report from Yorkshire than filming began two weeks ago outside of the reporter's village. Correction, there is one bit of news- if the page is to be trusted, Jane Eyre 2006 will be a mini-series.

On a lighter note, I've been thinking how odd it is that we have no interviews with Ruth Wilson yet, but we have two descriptions of Toby Stephens' sideburns, grown especially for Jane Eyre. I wonder if he will merit a write up in Chops Quarterly.

CQ is an internet blog with no posts whatsoever, but a fabulous mandate to celebrate sideburns of all shapes and sizes. Although they haven't been updated much, especially when they were founded in 1854 and there still aren't any posts (well, to be fair, there wasn't an internet then either), I have already learned so much about sideburns! For instance, I always assumed that any long, wooly sideburn was a 'mutton chop' but this is not so! Mutton chop refers to having two long sideburns joined via a moustache.

Charlotte's husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls also had fine chops:

March 22, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Interviews,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 11:29 pm

Toby Stephens prefers the Conflicted Man

Here are a few more tidbits for those desperate to hear more from our newest Rochester. From 'I'm much happier playing messed-up guys rather than the heroic lead. It's dull playing those parts'

With his striking good looks and an acting dynasty to die for – no less than Dame Maggie Smith and the late Robert Stephens for his parents – you'd think that Toby Stephens would be cornering the market in dashing, romantic leading roles.

Instead, his forte seems to be quite the opposite; crazed Bond villains (Die Another Day), tormented Cold War intellectuals (Kim Philby in Cambridge Spies) and, about to start filming, the enigmatic and mysterious Mr Rochester in a new BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre.

'I'm much happier playing messed-up guys rather than the heroic lead,' says 36-year-old Stephens. 'It's dull playing those parts. I'd rather play someone conflicted. They're always more challenging, and you've got more to work with.'

[…]

Right now Stephens' physical profile is extremely striking; he's darkened his hair and he's growing some pretty impressive sideburns in preparation to play one of English Lit's most troubled and misunderstood anti-heroes, Rochester, in Jane Eyre.

'The perfect messed-up guy – what more could I ask for?' he laughs

Yay! Sorry… I mean, splendid…

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