If you can’t wait for the upcoming Downton Abbey movie and are desperate for something to watch in the meantime, we have just the show for you. We’ve been searching our DVRs and to-watch lists for a British period drama to keep us occupied, and in doing so, we happened upon a great new show that fits the bill beautifully: It’s Howards End, a four-part miniseries from the BBC and Starz.
The series is based on E.M. Forster’s novel of the same name, which was first published in 1910. If you’re not familiar with the story, Howards End is the tale of three families—the Schlegels, the Wilcoxes, and the Basts—who weave into and out of each other’s lives. The two Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, are entangled in the affairs of both the Wilcoxes, a well-to-do family whose matriarch dies, leaving a husband and children pondering a perplexing inheritance-related question, and the Basts, an impoverished couple who become attached to the younger Schlegel daughter, Helen. Love, marriages, scandals, and tragedies ensue in what is both compelling drama and social commentary. The novel is widely considered to be Forster’s finest work, and the series brings the story to life with vivid landscapes and gorgeous set design.
This adaptation is directed by Hettie MacDonald (Beautiful Thing, Doctor Who) from a script penned by Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea, Gangs of New York). Even if you’re a diehard fan of the 1992 Merchant Ivory film version, which starred Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins, you’ll still be enchanted by this new vision. It stars Hayley Atwell (Captain America, Testament of Youth) as Margaret Schlegel and Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina) as Henry Wilcox.
Howards End premiered in April 2018, and it is currently available to watch at starz.com. You can also see the series trailer here. Pencil it into your weekend plans, and add a re-watch of the 1992 version too, while you’re at it. Now, about that Downton Abbey movie…
What shows are you watching lately? Let us know if you tune into Howards End or decide to read the book!