I watched this first instalment in ITV1's Jane Austen season on Sunday night. Did anyone else catch it?

Like the previews said, it wasn't really aimed at the purists, but at a modern audience with slick editing, hand-held camerawork and a youthful cast. Also, some of the characters had undergone changes to give it a more contemporary feel.

I'm a bit of a traditionalist and prefer faithful adaptations, but I didn't think it was a complete disaster. Despite its shortcomings and the obvious limitations of TV, the locations and costumes were pleasant, and the central story always holds your interest.

However, I couldn't help hankering after the big-screen adaptations like Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice which demonstrated how these things should be done. The characters and stories are strong enough: they don't need re-interpretation.

Having said all this, I'm still glad ITV1 are committed to drama on Sunday night, and not more reality TV.


Phil Turner