Death Comes to Pemberley

I know what you’re thinking. Is it April Fool’s Day again? Why does this headline feature the seemingly completely unrelated topics of Doctor Who, Jane Austen and crime thrillers? Well, today’s BBC story is so interesting that I couldn’t have made it up on my own if I tried. Doctor Who star Jenna-Louise Coleman has signed on to appear in the three-part mini-series, Death Comes to Pemberley, which is based on a P.D. James novel that includes classic Jane Austen characters. No foolin’!

Death Comes to Pemberley is a drama, which was commissioned by BBC’s controller Ben Stephenson along with former BBC One Danny Cohen. Cohen was recently promoted to director of television.

In front of the camera, the BBC One min-series has added Jenna-Louise Coleman to play Lydia Wickham, who is the sister of Pride and Prejudice protagonist Elizabeth Bennet. That famous role has been taken by Anna Maxwell Martin. Matthew Rhys will play Elizabeth’s husband, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Matthew Goode has been cast as Lydia’s husband, George Wickham.

So, the Jane Austen characters we know and love are married and enjoying happily ever after. The story kicks of six years into the wedding bliss of Elizabeth and Darcy when a muder takes place at the couple’s annual ball. How is that for intriguing?

THR had the news of Coleman’s involvement and released words that other cast members now include Trevor Eve of Waking the Dead, James Fleet from Sense and Sensibility, Rebecca Front, Penelope Keith, James Norton of Rush, Joanna Scanlan, Eleanor Tomlinson from The White Queen and Tom Ward of Silent Witness.

I’m tickled because I never heard of the P.D. James novel before. I may need to add Death Comes to Pemberley to my reading list.

Coleman is known for her work as Jasmine Thomas on the British soap, Emmerdale, and has become the Eleventh Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald for the indomitable Doctor Who.