Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

September 16, 2006

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First Fan-Review of Jane Eyre 2006


Laura wrote in to Bronteblog where she had won tickets to the screening this evening of the first two episodes of the BBC series. There isn’t much that we did not surmise from the preview clips so far, but there are some particular observations of the acting of the leads:

The foremost thing I took away from the preview was that Ruth Wilson was an absolute delight as Jane. She brought a lot of natural charm to the part and although her performance was subtle, the viewer is left in no doubt of what she is feeling in each scene. In my eyes, she has provided the best performance yet for this character. Ruth’s Jane is full of humanity, soul and honesty and she instantly wins your sympathy.

[…]

Mr Rochester is one of my favourite characters; he is enigmatic, charming, unpredictable, outspoken and sometimes even manipulative. As you all know, there are many layers to his persona, but Toby seems to have struggled with capturing all of these idiosyncrasies and instead gives (in the first episode at least) what seems to be quite a black and white account. When not being overly gruff, his manner often seems affected and it even comes across that he is not taking the character very seriously…He improves, however, in the second hour, helped along by the fact that he smirks a lot less and is perhaps not quite so sarcastic. It also doesn’t do any harm that he is, indeed, partially shirtless in one of the scenes… (Mr Darcy, eat your heart out 😉

The rest of the review is available here. The rest of the review harmonises well with my own opinions on what I have seen as well. Rochester is an incredibly complicated character, and I truly pity any actor who takes him on. It doesn’t sound like he fares too badly, however. It sounds like he has given the character scope to develop and probably that would continue into the remaining episodes. I don’t recall coming across a predominantly sarcastic protrayal, but the sarcasm is a part of the character (often describes in the novel as sardonic).

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September 15, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,TV,Uncategorized,Video Clips — by bronteana @ 1:24 pm

First of the Preview Clips Available

You can now see some of that ‘mysterious’ second clip we all saw in the background of the BBC Breakfast interview with Toby Stephens. The music from the beginning seems to be standard for the Drama preview clips of other productions. The clip is of the first interview scene- much altered.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/janeeyre/

If you have not seen the interview yet, it also includes part of the Hay Lane scene, and is available here.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

May 8, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Locations,Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 12:09 pm

Filming on Location for Jane Eyre 2006

Last week the BBC were busy filming scenes at Belton House for their new production of Jane Eyre. While this article has very little in new information- it deals almost exclusively with the impact of filming on the house and what a bother it all is- but there are these fabulous new images from the production including a behind the scenes picture, and a trivia note about the Red Room:

Although Belton House has its own red room, opened in March 2004 after two years of restoration work, the red room where Mrs Reed locks Jane is actually being created at Sudbury Hall while Belton's red room is transformed into the grand salon at Gateshead.


Like Belton House, location for Gateshead but also Rosings Park in Pride and Prejudice, Sudbury Hall was also used for interiors in the same 1995 production of Jane Austen's novel.

May 1, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Locations,Productions,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 10:12 am

New Locations for Jane Eyre 2006

Fast on the heels of our casting news, comes new faces for familiar places. We already know that Haddon Hall is the location for Thornfield Hall. Belton House is the new location for Gateshead Hall, home of the Reeds. Learn more about Belton House here. Among other things, it should look familiar… it appeared as a location in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice.

Several other properties owned by the National Trust will be used as locations in the production:

Dovedale is one of the most famous areas of the Peak District, and has already, like Haddon Hall, played a part in the 1996 film of Jane Eyre. Ilam is a village in the Peak District National Park (this place will likely be on the Jane Eyre touring trail eventually, what with all of its associations genial and pleasurable!). There is also a hall at Ilam, which one might imagine to be Ferndean.

And lastly, we have further confirmation that the production will air this autumn in the UK.

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 9:58 am

More Cast for Jane Eyre 2006

Andrew Buchan is confirmed as our St. John Rivers, according to the productions imdb page, and Bertha Mason will be played by Claudia Coulter, according to M.


If this is the same Andrew Buchan, he has done extensive work with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and you can listen to his voice here.

April 28, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 2:31 pm

More on Jane Eyre 2006

Thanks to Christina for this interesting find. From the BBC Press Office, where our diligent reader, Alison, first brought us the first image from the production, BBC ONE controller Peter Fincham has a few words about the new production:

This autumn, in the same spirit, we're bringing back another of those iconic brands, Robin Hood. Our Robin Hood won't much resemble the old black-and-white series of the sixties, and nor will you mistake it for the eighties version Robin of Sherwood.Those Spandau Ballet hairstyles will have gone, for a start. But in Robin Hood you have a story, and a world, that's worth revisiting for each generation.

At the other end of the spectrum we're broadcasting an ambitious dramatisation of Jane Eyre. It's shooting now in Derbyshire. I was recently shown some early scenes – they looked ravishing.

As with Bleak House, this is BBC ONE doing something that's in our DNA, something that the viewers almost demand of us – producing timeless, but modern, versions of the classics.

Both these series, by the way, introduce completely new faces to BBC ONE: newcomer Ruth Wilson, who plays Jane Eyre, and Jonas Armstrong as Robin Hood. Refreshing the family of talent on the channel, and avoiding the obvious route of playing safe with familiar faces.

There's our third confirmation that the production will be airing in autumn, not winter. It is possible that the production will appear on Masterpiece Theater in 2007.

A brief digest of Bronteana posts regarding the production:

Interview with Toby Stephens (Mr Rochester)
Haddon Hall (location for Thornfield Hall)
Speculation on Mr Eshton

April 20, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 11:44 pm

Inquiring minds…

So many people have been asking me about when the new BBC Jane Eyre 2006 with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens will be shown in the US that I thought I would take the opportunity to repost some very old information. This post comes from way back, when so far we had only heard of "the new Jane Eyre", "a new BBC Jane Eyre." This post was the third confirmation of its existence, and happens to affirm that it will air on Masterpiece Theater. At the end of a press release about the recent production of Bleak House was this:

Upcoming "Masterpiece" productions include the final "Prime Suspect," starring Helen Mirren, and adaptations of "Casanova," "Jane Eyre" and "Sense & Sensibility."

At the time I was unsure of whether this was a separate production, although I was sure there was a production at least. As soon as I hear anything about when it will air, I will be sure to post it!

As for the Angelina Jolie as Cathy, and Johnny Depp as Heathcliff rumor, I would like to officially pronounce it dead. It has been sleeping the eternal sleep for a good long while but I just haven't said so.

ETA: I really need to improve my archive system… There is indeed some hint as to when it will air in the US. Apparently it will air sometime in 2007. It is likely to air in the UK in autumn of 2006, although first reports claimed it was coming out 'at Christmas'. Possibly it will appear shortly afterwards on this side of the Atlantic!

ETA: For those requiring the source for the 2007 date, Masterpiece Theater announced months ago (at the same time as the original posting) that Jane Eyre would be shown in 2007.

April 19, 2006

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Filed under: Anecdotes,Bronteana,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Productions — by bronteana @ 11:31 pm

Down, superstition! I mean… paranoia!

Well, I've thought a little about what this 'visionary John Eshton' we heard about in the BBC press release for their new Jane Eyre could possibly mean, and in the process I have alarmed myself. This will hopefully be an amusing rant to look back on later, when we have seen the production and can laugh at my unfounded fears and paranoia. Nevertheless, here's my case:

Now, there is indeed a Mr.Eshton in Jane Eyre. I wasn't sure what his first name was, when Bronteana reader Mysticgypsy asked me if there was indeed a John Eshton, so I looked in the concordance. Jane never tells us Mr. Eshton's name. So, they gave him one; no problem there. But, there is a problem. This is how Jane describes Mr. Eshton:

Mr. Eshton, the magistrate of the district, is gentleman-like: his hair is quite white, his eyebrows and whiskers still dark, which gives him something of the appearance of a "pere noble de theatre."

Mr. Eshton will be played by Aidan McArdle, who is only one year younger than Toby Stephens, who is playing Mr Rochester. Adding characters is nothing new, but it is very strange that this John Eshton would get such high billing- over Bertha, Adele and St.John. I know that Sam Hoare has been listed as being in the production vaguely, we have no idea who he is playing; it seems likely he could be St.John Rivers but there's no confirmation on this. This is the scary bit for me… St.John could be described as visionary in a sense. Have they done away with him? Have they replaced him? I shudder to think. It has been done before, but generally it ends up impoverishing the whole production. The 1857 Jane Eyre had one of the guests flirt with Jane, but… no, no. I hope this is all just an 'idle terror.'

Unless they mean 'visionary' in the sense Mr Rochester once used it ('visionary woe'), then that would be about right- since 'John Eshton' doesn't exist!

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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!

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.

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