Howards End Episode 1 ~ Review

Four-part adaptation of EM Forster’s classic novel telling the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives.

Howards End has long been a favourite of mine, ahead of its time in my humble opinion so it’s definitely the right time to produce a new adaptation. The story revolves around the Schlegel sisters and their many encounters, mostly with but not limited to the Wilcox family. Love trysts, unattainable in nature yet pursued regardless – and with just one episode having aired, there’s so much more to come yet!

Bessie Carter and Julia Ormond as Evie and Mrs Wilcox

In the first instalment, Helen Schlegel has been staying with the Wilcox family at Howards End, they’re a mixed bunch and each member of the family has their quirks. Mrs Wilcox rules the roost while Mr Wilcox has an air of mystery about him, he never appears entirely comfortable. Meanwhile, Margaret Schlegel is being kept company, whether she likes it or not, by her Aunt Juley – a character I would liken to Mrs Bennett from Pride and Prejudice.

The cast alone promises a hit BBC drama and I was not disappointed. Hayley Atwell and Philippa Coulthard are well matched as sisters and Matthew Macfadyen heads the Wilcox family perfectly with Julia Ormond inspired casting as Mrs Wilcox, her face says it all! I was also impressed with how seamlessly Tracey Ullman has fitted into a classical role and felt that she displayed just the right balance with a character who could so easily become a caricature.

Tracey Ullman – a revelation as Aunt Juley

If you didn’t tune in on Sunday night, give it a try – you don’t need to know the story beforehand and the setting, location and attention to detail for the period are all exquisitely done. If you did tune in on Sunday night, I hope (like me) you’ll be eagerly anticipating the next three episodes? This is just the ticket for an autumnal Sunday evening.

 

Credits

Role Contributor
Margaret Schlegel Hayley Atwell
Henry Wilcox Matthew Macfadyen
Helen Schlegel Philippa Coulthard
Leonard Bast Joseph Quinn
Tibby Schlegel Alex Lawther
Charles Wilcox Joseph Bannister
Jacky Bast Rosalind Eleazar
Evie Wilcox Bessie Carter
Paul Wilcox Jonah Hauer-King
Aunt Juley Tracey Ullman
Mrs Wilcox Julia Ormond
Annie Donna Banya
Nancy Hannah Traylen
Crane Gavin Brocker
Frieda Mosenbach Leonie Benesch
Herr Liesecke George Taylor
Doctor (for Tibby) Sagar Arya
Young Man (Margaret’s Friend) Tim Pritchett
Earnest Young Woman Maya Saroya
Ticket Boy Jos Slovick
Producer Laura Hastings-Smith
Director Hettie MacDonald
Writer Kenneth Lonergan
Executive Producer Colin Callender
Executive Producer Sophie Gardiner
Executive Producer Scott Huff
Executive Producer Joshua D Maurer
Executive Producer Alixandre Witlin
Executive Producer David A Stern
Executive Producer Lucy Richer
Production Company Playground Television UK Ltd

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