This winter and spring, Masterpiece classic returns with signature period dramas, hosted by Laura Linney.
January 4-11, 2009
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Two 120 minute episodes; TV-14
Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy's story. Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) stars as Tess, with Hans Matheson (Dr. Zhivago) as her seducer, Alec, and Eddie Redmayne as Angel, the idealistic man she loves.
January 18-25, 2009
Two episodes (episode one 90 minutes, episode two 60 minutes); TV-PG
A new adaptation of Emily Bronte's haunting classic about the passionate spiritual bond between Heathcliff, an abandoned Gypsy boy, and his adoptive family's daughter. Cathy. British heartthrob Tom Hardy stars as Heathcliff, and newcomer Charlotte Riley is Cathy Earnshaw.
February 1-8, 2009
Sense and Sensibility
Two 90-minute episodes
Though poor, levelheaded Elinor Dashwood (Hattie Morahan) and her impulsive sister Marianne (Charity Wakefield) attract a trio of promising gentlemen. A romantic odyssey of seduction and abandonment unfolds in this encore presentation of Jane Austen's novel.
February 15-22, 2009
Two 90-minute episodes
William Miller plays Oliver Twist in Charles Dickens' much-loved story about the young orphan whose request for "more" leads to a phantasmagoria of adventures in 19th-century London. Timothy Spall stars as Fagin, Tom Hardy as Bill Sikes and Sophie Okonedo as Nancy, Oliver's guardian angel.
March 15-22, 2009
Two episodes (episode one 90 minutes, episode two 120 minutes)
Dickens's beloved novel gets all-star treatment in this encore presentation of David Copperfield. An event for the entire family, the cast includes Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen, Bob Hoskins — and an irresistible ten-year-old Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter films) as the young boy against the world.
March 29-April 26, 2009
Five episodes (episode one 120 minutes, all others 90 minutes)
One of Dickens' greatest love stories, Little Dorrit has the timely theme of chronic debt and financial collapse. Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice) stars as hero Arthur Clennam, with Clair Foy as Amy "Little" Dorrit and Tom Courtenay as her father.
May 3, 2009
The Old Curiosity Shop
One 90-minute episode
A teenage girl and her grandfather lose everything to a maniacal moneylender and flee his relentless pursuit. Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius) stars as Grandfather, with Sophie Vavasseur (Northanger Abbey) as Nell and Toby Jones (W.) as Quilp.