LONDON — BBC1 hopes to repeat the success of costume drama hit “Cranford” with two new period pieces that are among the tentpoles of its winter season, announced Tuesday.
They are a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” scripted by the ubiquitous Andrew Davies, and a version of “Lark Rise to Candleford,” based on Flora Thompson’s memoir of her childhood in rural 19th century England.
Other new drama for the pubcaster’s flagship web includes “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” helmed and written by Anthony Minghella and co-written by Richard Curtis.
There is also an ambitious retelling of the last week in the life of Jesus Christ, “The Passion,” written by Emmy award-winner Frank Deasy and developed by Nigel Stafford-Clark, who produced the corp.’s acclaimed reinvention of “Bleak House.”
“The Passion” will be skedded across one week in the run-up to Easter.
Acting BBC1 controller Roly Keating said: “For the first time on television, ‘The Passion’ will tell the story of Jesus Christ from three different points of view, with all the key characters intimately characterized.”
British actor Joseph Mawle, who starred in the BBC film “Soundproof,” plays Jesus Christ while Irish thesp James Nesbitt is cast as Pontius Pilate.
Another new drama is “Ashes to Ashes,” the keenly anticipated follow-up to the much-feted high concept series “Life on Mars” where the action is set in the 80s.
A certain highlight of the season is the final installment of David Attenborough’s high-end documentary skein examining life on earth, “Life in Cold Blood,” which uses the latest filming technology to reveal the world of reptiles and amphibians.