Tonight on BBC One, the network unveiled one of their most ambitious programs yet in their adaptation of “War and Peace.” Trying to adapt Leo Tolstoy’s greatest work is no easy task, especially when you consider that it only has six episodes in order to do so. Hey, “Game of Thrones” gets at least ten a season.
The synopsis for next week’s episode suggests that the war between France and Russia will be as violent and harrowing as we have seen it. However, nothing will be necessarily cut and dry as relationships are tested, and true motivations are questioned by Marya’s father and many others:
“The Russian army is safe after a marginal success at Schongrabern that just keeps the French at bay. Andrei and Nikolai are both excited to tell stories of their involvement, until the sobering realisation strikes that a far more terrible battle awaits them. The tsar himself, confident of victory, comes to Austria to command the troops. But Andrei’s wise old commander General Kutuzov is concerned that Napoleon is setting a trap.
“Back in Russia, Natasha and her family are desperate to hear news from Nikolai. Pierre is married to Helene but struggles to settle into their life together. With his daughter happily coupled off, Prince Vassily’s thoughts turn to marrying off his son Anatole. They travel to meet Andrei’s sister, Marya, at Prince Bolkonsky’s country estate. Marya is tempted by the unexpected prospect of romance, but her father is less convinced of Anatole’s intentions.”
So far, we feel like we’d classify the show an unparalleled success, and we’re willing to do so without even seeing much of the rest of the story or the ratings for the premiere. Basically, the show was trending worldwide on social media, and with that it introduced many to source material that may feel at times completely distant and uninteresting thanks to their literature classes. We appreciate the ambition, and it remains to be seen what the series does from here.
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