HBO’s premiering the five part miniseries Parade’s End starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall and Adelaide Clemens on February 26, 2013 at 9pm. The series is based on Ford Madox Ford’s novels and was directed by Susanna White (Generation Kill) and adapted by Sir Tom Stoppard.
The miniseries also stars Roger Allam, Anne-Marie Duff, Rupert Everett, Stephen Graham, Janet McTeer, and Miranda Richardson.
Says screenwriter Stoppard about the challenge of adapting Ford: “I came to read Parade’s End when [executive producer Damien Timmer] suggested it, and I had a strong instinct that it would appeal to me, which it very much did. I consider myself unfaithfully faithful in relation to my adaptation of Ford’s books. On one hand, it is faithful to the conception of character, time and place, and on the other hand, the novels are not structured to accommodate a television series. So you have to manipulate the elements you have.
Although the war in the background is a huge factor in the story and it changed society irredeemably, Parade’s End is not a First World War story. It’s the story of a man caught between two women who he has loved and loves. They’re very different from each other, and he’s a unique, most unusual gentleman. With a project like Parade’s End, perhaps the greatest challenge for a writer is to find that balance between the personal and the public.”
Married to Sylvia (Rebecca Hall), a callous socialite who has given birth to a child that may not be his, English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes entranced by Valentine Wannop (Adelaide Clemens), a fearless young woman who unexpectedly turns his world upside down. As warbreaks out across Europe, Christopher, compelled by an outmoded code of conduct, feels obligated to remain loyal to his wife as he leaves a heartbroken Valentine to fight in France.
Christopher struggles to adapt to his new life as an army officer. When he returns to England briefly, suffering from shell shock, he is alarmed to discover himself the target of vicious rumors. Rejected by his father and brother, alienated from Sylvia, with only Valentine to support him, he attempts to hold on to sanity and meaning as the old world order collapses amidst tremendous upheaval.
Through Christopher’s experiences, Parade’s End captures the devastation of war and the end of Edwardian ideals, and bridges the gap between feudal England and the dawn of modernism.
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