Howards End (miniseries)
|Based on||Howards End|
by E. M. Forster
|Written by||Kenneth Lonergan|
|Directed by||Hettie MacDonald|
|Country of origin|
|No. of episodes||4 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||56–58 minutes|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
|Original release||12 November –|
3 December 2017
Howards End is a British-American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by E. M. Forster. The series was adapted by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Hettie MacDonald, and stars Hayley Atwell. The four-part series is a co-production between British network BBC One and American network Starz. It premiered on 12 November 2017 in the United Kingdom and 8 April 2018 in the United States.
Howards End examines "the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn-of-the-century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business and the working-class Basts."
Cast and characters
- Hayley Atwell as Margaret Schlegel
- Matthew Macfadyen as Henry Wilcox
- Philippa Coulthard as Helen Schlegel
- Joseph Quinn as Leonard Bast
- Joe Bannister as Charles Wilcox
- Rosalind Eleazar as Jacky Bast
- Alex Lawther as Tibby Schlegel
- Bessie Carter as Evie Wilcox
- Jonah Hauer-King as Paul Wilcox
- Tracey Ullman as Aunt Juley Mund
- Julia Ormond as Ruth Wilcox
- Leonie Benesch as Frieda Mosenbach
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||US release date||UK viewers|
|1||"Episode 1"||Hettie MacDonald||Kenneth Lonergan||12 November 2017||8 April 2018||8.30||0.217|
|After meeting the Wilcoxes on the Continent, Helen Schlegel visits them at Howard's End. There, an unfortunate engagement is quickly ended between Helen and Paul Wilcox. The wealthy Wilcoxes decide that the Schlegels—Helen, her older sister Margaret, and brother Tibby—are of the unreliable, idealistic sort. The Schlegels meet and become interested in Leonard Bast, a lower class clerk. While the rest of the Wilcox family are away, Margaret and Mrs. Wilcox meet and become close friends.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Hettie MacDonald||Kenneth Lonergan||19 November 2017||15 April 2018||5.68||0.276|
|Mrs. Wilcox dies and after the funeral, the family discovers that Mrs. Wilcox, knowing the Schlegels must soon leave their home, has written a note bequeathing Howard's End to Margaret. Henry Wilcox assumes his wife was not of sound mind and the children believe that the Schlegel's maneuvered to obtain an inheritance. They destroy the note. Helen becomes more interested in helping Leonard Bast. Mr. Wilcox becomes interested in Margaret and she him.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Hettie MacDonald||Kenneth Lonergan||26 November 2017||22 April 2018||5.42||0.207|
|Henry and Margaret plan their wedding to the dismay of the Wilcox children, especially the eldest son, Charles. Helen dislikes Henry and his business activities and strongly disapproves of the wedding. Based on advice Henry gave to Margaret and Helen, Leonard has left his job and then loses his new job. He and his wife are now destitute, something Helen strives to rectify.|
|4||"Episode 4"||Hettie MacDonald||Kenneth Lonergan||3 December 2017||29 April 2018||5.06||0.275|
|Helen has mysteriously left for Germany and for months avoids contact with Margaret. She returns due to their aunt's illness and the mystery of her departure is revealed. A confrontation at Howards End with Leonard, Henry's son Charles, and the Schlegel sisters ends in tragedy. Margaret nobly resolves the ensuing conflict.|
On 28 November 2012 it was announced that Playground Entertainment, in association with City Entertainment and KippSter Entertainment, had acquired the screen rights to E.M. Forster's novel Howards End with the intention of adapting it into a television miniseries for BBC Two. Executive producers for the production were set to include Colin Callender, Joshua D. Maurer, Alixandre Witlin, and David A. Stern. On 11 October 2013 it was announced that Kenneth Lonergan had been chosen to adapt the novel. The production had yet to be greenlit by the BBC but it was reportedly expected to consist of four episodes. It was additionally announced that Polly Hill would be executive producing for the BBC. On 28 December 2015 it was announced that BBC One had officially greenlit the production. On 7 June 2016 it was announced that Hettie MacDonald would direct all four episodes of the miniseries. On 15 February 2017 it was announced that Starz was joining the production as a co-producer.
Alongside the announcement that Starz was joining the production, it was confirmed that Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen, and Tracey Ullman would star in the series. A few days later, it was announced that Julia Ormond, Philippa Coulthard, Joseph Quinn, Rosalind Eleazar, and Alex Lawther had also joined the main cast.
Principal photography for the miniseries began during the summer of 2016. The house used for Howards End is Vann House, near Hambledon; dating from 1542 but remodelled by WD Caröe after 1907 with gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Scenes were filmed at Waverley Abbey, West Wycombe Park, Ballard Down, Swanage Pier and Harry Warren House on Studland Bay. London locations included Myddelton Square in Clerkenwell, Great Russell Street, Chancery Lane, the British Museum, Australia House and Simpsons in the Strand.
On 1 November 2017 the series held its official British premiere in London at the BFI Southbank. On 4 April 2018 the series held its official American premiere in New York City at the Whitby Hotel.
The series was met with a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an 88% approval rating with an average rating of 7.73 out of 10 based on 34 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Hayley Atwell shines in Howards End, a beautiful, if borderline superficial, adaptation of a much-revered book." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 86 out of 100 based on 15 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
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