Jane Austen fan though I am, I tuned in to the latest BBC offering last night with some hesitation. Their last offering of Oliver Twist had made me very wary and, after all, there have been so many film and television versions of Sense and Sensibility in recent years.
Five minutes in to the new Andrew Davies adaptation, though, I was captivated. Hattie Morahan was superb as Elinor Dashwood, much closer to the Jane Austen character than Emma Thompson was in the 1995 film. Dan Stevens is far more convincing as Edward Ferrars than Hugh Grant was, but then, who wouldn't be?
I suppose I could be a little prejudiced by the fact that the programme was filmed here in North Devon. The stunning coast and countryside at Hartland have featured in RD posts on coastal walks already. The Dashwoods cottage is on the Hartland Abbey estate and last night we saw this cove. I am looking forward to seeing more of our local scenery in future episodes.
It looks like an excellent production, so why am I not feeling more enthusiastic? Perhaps it is the fact that we keep seeing the same stories re-worked. Did we need another version of Sense and Sensibility at this time? Why not tackle some other authors? Suggestions welcomed.