While we tend to consider January a rough time for new television, that is not necessarily the case across the pond in Britain. This weekend, the BBC is launching what may be one of the more ambitions projects we’ve seen in years: A six-part adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, one of the longest and most difficult-to-adapt novels in the history of literature. The series has a pretty incredible cast including Paul Dano, “Downton Abbey” alum Lily James, Jim Broadbent, and somehow Gillian Anderson, who seems to have identical twins given the number of projects that she has been in over the past year and a half.
At the moment, we still have little idea how the “War and Peace” series is going to manage to cram everything in, but they will certainly try. Admittedly, we’ve never real the book and we are therefore going into this fairly raw in regards to the source material. That’s why we have to thank the network for being somewhat kind when it comes to sharing some information and laying the groundwork for what the show will be.
Below, take a look at what is the fundamental description of the adaptation:
Russia, 1805. Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army has invaded Austria, drawing Russia into the war against him. Everyone in aristocratic Russian society is rattled – except hot-headed Pierre Bezukhov, who admires the French emperor’s politics. Pierre is an outcast in society, and the illegitimate son of one of Russia’s wealthiest men. But now his father is close to death and his scheming relatives are vying for the old man’s fortune – though they expect Pierre to be left with nothing.
Pierre’s dearest friend Prince Andrei Bolkonsky is excited for war with Napoleon. For him it offers a chance to find purpose in life by fighting on the front line. Unhappily married to a beautiful socialite, Lise, he plans to leave her behind at his fierce father’s remote country estate and seek military glory for himself. The army under Andrei’s wise mentor General Kutuzov expects a swift victory. But when the French unexpectedly prove their military might, Andrei is thrust into a dangerous battle.
Pierre’s other great friend is Natasha Rostova – a beautiful, lively young woman growing up fast and desperate to experience more of the world. When she sees love blossom between her brother Nikolai and his childhood sweetheart Sonya, she is inspired for the first time with romantic thoughts of her own. As the men ride off to war, Natasha and Sonya are left behind to wait and wonder if they will ever return.
The trailer for the series was actually released some time ago (a bit of a rarity for British television); if you have not had a chance to check it out just yet, we recommend that you do so below!
We will be back tomorrow with some further news in regards to “War and Peace”; stay tuned! Also, you can sign up over here in the event you want some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: BBC.)