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Last Updated: Friday, 19 December, 2003, 12:56 GMT
Bleak House to become BBC 'soap'
Andrew Davies
Davies is writing up to 20 half-hour episodes
The BBC is producing a soap-style version of Charles Dickens' classic novel Bleak House.

It will be adapted into twice-weekly episodes by writer Andrew Davies, who wrote the BBC's popular adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice.

Costume dramas have traditionally been shown in weekly episodes, broadcast across several weeks.

Dickens' novels were first published in instalments with gripping cliffhangers to entice people to buy the next one.

Davies, who also adapted Victorian lesbian drama Tipping the Velvet for BBC Two, said the written style of Bleak House lent itself to the format of shorter TV episodes.

"It'll enable us to give a much fuller rendering of the book than we're normally able to in a classic adaptation," he said.


Davies said the adaptation could produce up to 20 episodes.

He said: "There are so many characters, there's such a lot of life, such a number of criss-crossing plots that it would be interesting to do it in a new way, having a lot of characters in the background of each other's stories.

"We've been working out ways of getting a good sort of cliff-hanger ending at the end of half-hour episodes."

Davies has written "a few pages" of the first draft, and production is not due to begin for several months.

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11 Oct 02  |  Entertainment


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