'Les Misérables’ Is Coming to Masterpiece on PBS
And it features one of the newest cast members of The Crown
Les Misérables is headed for the small screen courtesy of Masterpiece on PBS and BBC One. Victor Hugo’s classic novel is getting the television treatment in the form of a six-part adaptation set amid the unrest of post-Napoleonic France. Since we’ve finished watching our other Masterpiece obsessions (The Durrells in Corfu, Victoria, and The Miniaturist, among others), we can’t wait to dive into the world of Les Misérables.
The drama follows the life of Jean Valjean, a man who is imprisoned in early 19th century France, flees his parole, and spends years building a life as a factory owner and, eventually, adoptive father to the orphaned Cosette. Turmoil brews in the form of France’s political unrest as well as in the character of Javert, an inspector intent on capturing the escapee Valjean.
Because this upcoming Les Misérables is taking its cues from the 1862 novel and not the beloved musical adaptation—a long-lived stage show with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and original lyrics by Alain Boublil—we will not "hear the people sing." However, fans of the musical will no doubt find much to appreciate in this new program. Reportedly, the drama will include several characters who are present in the book but omitted in other adaptations.
Les Misérables stars Dominic West (The Wire, The Square) as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo (Selma, A Most Violent Year) as Javert, and Lily Collins (The Blind Side, Love, Rosie) as Fantine. Adeel Akhtar (The Big Sick, Victoria & Abdul) and Olivia Colman (The Night Manager, Broadchurch) will appear as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, respectively. Colman will also soon be seen as Queen Elizabeth II in season three of The Crown. Other cast members include Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Cosette, Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country, The Durrells in Corfu) as Marius, and Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as Éponine.
Andrew Davies, who has previously written many well-received adaptations for television and film, including 2016’s War & Peace and 1995’s Pride and Prejudice, is adapting the screenplay from Hugo’s novel. Tom Shankland (The Children) is directing. There’s no word yet on when it will be released, so keep an eye out for more info, a trailer, and an eventual premiere date.
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Will you tune into Les Misérables when it airs on Masterpiece on PBS? What PBS programs have you been watching lately?