20-minute documentary, "The Making of Wives and Daughters"
55-minute portrait "Who the Dickens is Mrs. Gaskell"?
Who's who - a guide to the stars
Debuting November 28, 1999, over BBC1, the four-part British miniseries Wives and Daughters was the second of two TV adaptations of Elizabeth Gaskell's unfinished novel (the first aired in 1972). Set in the early 1800s, the story takes place in a small, gossip-driven English town. Upon the remarriage of her father, heroine Molly Gibson (Justine Waddell) isn't quite sure how to "take" to her modish stepmother, Hyacinth (Francesca Annis), and airheaded stepsister, Cynthia (Keeley Hawes). The fun really begins when both Molly and Cynthia fall in love with Roger Hamley (Anthony Howell), son of the village squire. Inasmuch as author Gaskell passed away before concocting a solution to this romantic triangle, it was up to screenwriter Andrew Davies to come up with a happy (or at least satisfying) denouement. In America, Wives and Daughters was seen as part of PBS' Masterpiece Theatre anthology beginning April 2, 2001. ~ Hal Erickson