The TV Guide - - CONTENTS - With TV Guide Ed­i­tor Julie Eley julie.eley@stuff.co.nz

It’s a case of once more into the breeches this week with the ar­rival of a sump­tu­ous new Bri­tish pe­riod drama (story page 4). Van­ity Fair, Thack­eray’s 1848 satir­i­cal novel about Re­gency so­ci­ety, has been a firm favourite with film­mak­ers for more than 100 years. It hit the sil­ver screen for the first time in 1911 as a 30-minute silent movie and since then film ac­tresses to take on the role of the book’s hero­ine, Becky Sharp, range from Myrna Loy in the 1930s to Reese Wither­spoon in 2004. TV has also seen its share of fa­mous faces with Su­san Hamp­shire and Natasha Lit­tle just a few of the stars to play the sharp-wit­ted so­cial climber. In this lat­est adap­ta­tion, Olivia Cooke is cast as the re­doubtable Becky and she plays the role very much as a wo­man for the new mil­len­nium. Pe­riod dra­mas have been rid­ing a wave of pop­u­lar­ity since Colin Firth emerged drip­ping from the lake in 1995’s Pride And Prej­u­dice. There might not be any such scenes in Van­ity Fair but it does fea­ture Doc Martin star Martin Clunes – which makes it must-see TV in my book.

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