Vanity Fair (2018 TV series)
|Genre||Historical period drama|
|Created by||Gwyneth Hughes|
|Based on||Vanity Fair|
by William Makepeace Thackeray
|Written by||Gwyneth Hughes|
|Directed by||James Strong|
|Theme music composer||Bob Dylan|
|Opening theme||"All Along the Watchtower" by Afterhere|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||7|
|Running time||45—47 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Mammoth Screen|
|Picture format||1080p (2:1)|
|Original release||2 September –|
7 October 2018
- Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp, the daughter of a French opera woman and an artist father. Sharp is a cynical social climber who uses her charms to fascinate and seduce upper-class men.
- Claudia Jessie as Amelia Sedley, a good-natured naive young girl, of a wealthy London family who is Becky's friend from Miss Pinkerton's academy and invites Becky to stay in her London home following their graduation from the academy.
- Tom Bateman as Rawdon Crawley, an empty-headed cavalry officer, younger of the two Crawley sons and favourite of Aunt Matilda, until he marries Sharp, a woman of a far lower class.
- Johnny Flynn as William Dobbin, colonel of the City Light Horse regiment and the best friend of George Osborne who takes a shine to Amelia.
- Charlie Rowe as George Osborne, son of merchant John Osborne and childhood sweetheart, later husband, of Amelia, who defies his father to marry his love.
- Simon Russell Beale as Mr. John Sedley, Amelia and Joss's father and Louisa's husband who goes bankrupt.
- Anthony Head as Lord Steyne, a rich and powerful marquis who takes a shine to Becky.
- Martin Clunes as Sir Pitt Crawley, a crude and profligate baronet who hired Becky as governess to his daughters before taking a shine to her and then discovering she has become secretly engaged to his second son, Rawdon.
- Frances de la Tour as Lady Matilda Crawley, the wealthy aunt of the Crawley sons.
- Michael Palin as William Makepeace Thackeray, the author of Vanity Fair and narrator of the series.
- Robert Pugh as Mr. John Osborne, George's father who forbids him from marrying Amelia.
- Suranne Jones as Miss Pinkerton, snobbish and cold hearted headmistress of the academy which Amelia and Becky used to attend.
- David Fynn as Jos Sedley, collector in India and Amelia's brother who has an attraction to Becky.
- Claire Skinner as Mrs. Louisa Sedley, Amelia and Joss's mother and John's wife.
- Mathew Baynton as Bute Crawley, Rawdon's Christian brother.
- Sian Clifford as Martha Crawley, Bute's spouse.
- Felicity Montagu as Arabella Briggs, servant to Lady Matilda, and later Becky.
- Monica Dolan as Mrs. Peggy O'Dowd
- Ellie Kendrick as Jane Osborne
- Elizabeth Berrington as Lady Bareacres
- Sally Phillips as Lady Steyne
- Richard Dixon as General Tuffo
- Peter Wight as Mr Raggles
- Michael FitzSymons as Major Michael O'Dowd
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|1||"Miss Sharp In The Presence Of The Enemy"||James Strong||Gwyneth Hughes||2 September 2018||5.45|
|After losing her teaching job, orphan Becky Sharp convinces kindly school-friend Amelia to take her in - and promptly sets about ensnaring Amelia's wealthy but oafish brother.|
|2||"Miss Sharp Begins To Make Friends"||James Strong||Gwyneth Hughes||3 September 2018||4.90|
|Becky is in Hampshire as governess to Sir Pitt Crawley's neglected daughters. Determined to get into his good books she quickly lands a promotion to secretary. The arrival of Crawley's sister prompts a new plan.|
|3||"A Quarrel About An Heiress"||James Strong||Gwyneth Hughes||9 September 2018||4.22|
|Becky has moved in with Matilda Crawley and seems to have a bright future ahead of her. However, war is brewing which threatens the fortunes of the scheming social climber and everyone she knows.|
|4||"In Which Becky Joins Her Regiment"||James Strong||Gwyneth Hughes||16 September 2018||4.04|
|George refuses to apologise for his marriage to Amelia and his father cuts him off from the family and his inheritance. All the friends set sail for Belgium, where Becky makes use of every opportunity to advance in society.|
|5||"In Which Battles Are Won and Lost"||James Strong||Gwyneth Hughes||23 September 2018||N/A|
|The Battle of Waterloo gets underway with George in the thick of it. Becky spies an opportunity to profit from the war by selling Rawdon's horses to the cowardly Jos.|
|6||"In Which a Painter's Daughter Meets a King"||Jonathan Entwistle||Gwyneth Hughes||30 September 2018||2.30|
|Becky's time to finally shine arrives as she is introduced to the King, it comes at great cost though. How will her marriage hold up to the new arrangement she has made?|
|7||"Endings and Beginnings"||James Strong||Gwyneth Hughes||7 October 2018||N/A|
|Becky is alone and living in greatly reduced circumstances. Dobbin discovers that Amelia plans to remarry, prompting him to finally confess his feelings for her. The Sedleys have an unexpected encounter on holiday.|
A cottage on Chevening House Estate, Sevenoaks in Kent was used for filming and featured as Rawdons’ Cottage. Further filming took place in Sevenoaks at Squerryes Court for filming Miss Pinkertons’ (Suranne Jones) school interiors. A scene on the promenade, featuring soldiers and horses was also filmed outside the Royal Hotel in Deal, Kent. As well as further filming at Chatham Historic Dockyard, where production filmed various London street scenes outside the Ropery, as well as Anchor Wharf for an embarkation to France and the interior of Commissioners House.
The series was met with a positive response from critics for its sets and Olivia Cooke's performance. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 88% with an average rating of 7.08 out of 10 based on 33 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Olivia Cooke's brilliant portrayal of the feisty and scheming Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair makes this adaptation of Thackeray's classic novel more relatable for a 21st century audience." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Following the conclusion of the series and on writing about the series's significantly low viewing figures in comparison to its BBC One rival, Bodyguard, Ben Dowell of the Radio Times praised Cooke's performance, writing that "of all the TV Beckys down the ages – Joyce Redman, Susan Hampshire, Eve Matheson, Natasha Little, not to mention Reese Witherspoon in the 2004 film – Cooke is definitely one of the best we’ve ever had." Newsday's Verne Gay was more critical of the show, calling it both "faithful and faithless" to the book and concluded that the series "can occasionally feel like a homework assignment." Matthew Gilbert, writing for The Boston Globe, was more positive, stating that "If you’re a fan of these adaptations...I think you’ll find something pleasing in this “Vanity Fair” — not heroes and heroines stirring about waiting for their happy endings, of course, but something far more scandalous and universal."
- Tartaglione, Nancy (25 September 2017). "'Vanity Fair': Suranne Jones, Michael Palin Join Olivia Cooke In ITV/Amazon Drama". Deadline. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- Bley Griffiths, Eleanor (2 September 2018). "Meet the cast of Vanity Fair". The Radio Times. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
- "Four-screen dashboard | BARB". www.barb.co.uk.
- "Miss Sharp In The Presence Of The Enemy". IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- "Four-screen dashboard - BARB". www.barb.co.uk.
- "Miss Sharp Begins To Make Friends". IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- "A Quarrel about an Heiress". IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- "Weekly top 30 programmes - BARB". www.barb.co.uk.
- "In Which Battles Are Won and Lost" – via www.imdb.com.
- "Vanity Fair series finale review: Becky gets her just desserts as this underwatched classic ends in style". Radio Times.
- "Vanity Fair (2018)". Kent Film Office. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- "Vanity Fair: Miniseries". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- "Vanity Fair (2018) Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- Gay, Verne (20 December 2018). "'Vanity Fair' review: Mirthless, melodramatic version of Thackeray's classic". Newsday. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- Gilbert, Matthew (19 December 2018). "Sit back and enjoy the deceits of 'Vanity Fair'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 26 December 2018.