Saturday, August 9, 2008

BBC Announces Pre-Raphaelite Drama


For those of you who can't get enough of the Pre-Raphaelites, the BBC has announced that a new drama is in the works that will focus on the lives and loves of the revolutionary group of English painters.

The miniseries, entitled "Desperate Romantics," will trace the development of the Brotherhood and their unique approach to art. Variously described by its creators as "Entourage with Easels" and "the Boy Band of the 19th century," the story will be looking at the sexier side of the Pre-Raphaelites. I have some deep reservations with the project, as I did with the latest BBC reincarnation of Brideshead Revisited, but I'm reserving judgement for the time being, except to point out that there was much more to the Pre-Raphaelites than "Entourage with Easels!"

Aside from the 1975 small-screen adaptation about the Pre-Raphaelites entitled The Brotherhood (starring Ben Kingsley as Rossetti), there really haven't been any films about the Pre-Raphaelites, probably because the art of the Pre-Raphaelites was very unpopular after World War II. Nevertheless, in reading about the lives of the Pre-Raphaelites, there's so much fodder for screenwriters that rather I'm shocked we haven't seen more film adaptations of their story.

The script for the BBC miniseries is written by Peter Bowker, whose credits include Blackpool and Shakespeare Re-Told. He's also penned the script for a new ITV production of Wuthering Heights, due out in the fall of this year.

Filming for the series "Desperate Romantics" is set to begin in 2009. Look for more information to follow!


Thanks to Stephanie Pina, at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, for bringing this story to my attention!

6 comments:

Gillian L. said...

I thank you for sharing this information and I hope I can watch the program when it airs as I would like to learn more about the Pre-Raphaelites. I will be interested in your review of it.

Gillian

mammon said...

Thanks for this! This brings to mind the absolutely fabulous Ken Russell BBC film "Dante's Inferno" with Oliver Reed as Rossetti. It is really over the top but very atmospheric.

Margaret said...

I'm definitley looking forward to seeing the miniseries--accurate or not!

Mammon--I've heard some other people mentioning "Dante's Inferno." I'm going to have to figure out a way to get my hands on a copy of it! Sounds like fun, though it is pretty much impossible for me to imagine Oliver Reed as the rather delicate Dante Gabriel!

Paula(bear) said...

I was able to get a copy of Dante's Inferno from Ebay of all places! I had misplaced it during a move before I got the chance to watch it, but recently found it again, so I will have to be sure to watch it soon ;) Worth checking on there I'd imagine...

And I cannot wait for this series to come out either! My husband sent me this news with the heading 'Oh Joy' - I sense he's not quite as excited LOL.

racheldsc said...

Thanks for sharing – might try & catch that :)

Nice blog by the way... will be re-visiting!

Anonymous said...

BBC America released a box set of six Ken Russell tv movies late last year of which 'Dante's Inferno' was one, so it is readily available to those with multi-region DVD players and well worth checking out...