Look lively, Austen-ites: The Darcys are coming to a TV screen near you! On October 26, the good folks at Masterpiece—home to Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Upstairs Downstairs, and Miss Marple—will premiere a new mystery for American audiences: an adaptation of P.D. James’s courtroom drama Death Comes to Pemberley.
You already know James as the author of the modern dystopian classic The Children of Men and the Adam Dalgliesh mystery series. (Queen Elizabeth calls her Phyllis, Baroness James of Holland Park. Fancy!) But back in 2011, the good Baroness lent her considerable talents to Jane Austen’s world, penning a critically acclaimed murder mystery starring Elizabeth Bennet Darcy, her husband, Fitzwilliam, and that rascal George Wickham. We featured Death Comes to Pemberley in the Bas Bleu catalog, enchanted by James’s intriguing—yet not at all lurid—tale that begins when George Wickham is accused of murder on the Darcys’ grand estate. Not surprisingly, we’re pretty excited to see how the novel translates to the small screen.
We do confess to nursing a few concerns about casting. Elizabeth and Darcy are beloved characters, and we have pretty high—probably unfairly high—expectations. But we’ve been wrong before, so we’ll reserve judgment until after the show premieres.
If you’d like to read Death Comes to Pemberley before the two-part film airs, we still have copies of the book available on our website. While you’re there, you may also want to check out Making Masterpiece, executive producer Rebecca Eaton’s memoir, in which she expresses her regret for passing on the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. (Dear Colin Firth: No one will ever replace your Darcy in our hearts. No one!) Until then, check out this teaser trailer from MASTERPIECE Mystery! and vote below for your favorite Elizabeth-Darcy on-screen pairing.