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Wives and Daughters      TV PG
Airing Sundays, December 15, 2002
through January 5, 2003 on PBS
(Check local listings.)

Aired previously May 2001

Elizabeth Gaskell's enchanting tale of romance, scandal, and intrigue in a gossipy English town comes to Masterpiece Theatre in a lavish four-part production of Wives and Daughters, adapted by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies.

Davies, who wrote the scripts for such Masterpiece Theatre classics as A Rather English Marriage, Moll Flanders, the House of Cards trilogy, and Middlemarch, found Wives and Daughters to be perfect costume-drama material. It posed a rather interesting problem: Gaskell died just before completing the book. She was obviously aiming at a happy ending, and Davies has supplied the lost denouement with surprise and style.

"Wives and Daughters is about the ordinary mysteries of life," says producer Sue Birtwistle, previously responsible for the BBC's Pride and Prejudice and Masterpiece Theatre's King Lear. "[It's about] where love comes from, how it grows, how it can break our hearts, how it can bring happiness and fulfillment. It's about the mistakes we make and the secrets we have to keep."


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