Pride and Prejudice

From Great Expectations to Bridgerton: how TV period dramas are breaking the mould

History can be measured by recurrent events, such as the Olympics and American presidential elections that come around every four years. Both, as it happens, take place again this year.

Television drama is less regularly repetitive, but adaptations of Dickens’s Great Expectations were screened by the BBC in 1959, 1967, 1981, 2011 and 2023. The lengthier interval either side of the millennium was filled by major film versions that became fixtures in the TV schedules.

Colin Firth to star in post-terrorist attack drama Lockerbie

A black and white headshot of Colin Firth

In 1998, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed mid-flight over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members on-board. Falling wreckage then resulted in a further 11 fatalities.

Firth plays Jim Swire, a GP whose daughter Flora was a passenger on the flight. Her death led him to embark on a lifelong campaign for the truth. Jim travels across the world and navigates nebulous political divisions to represent British victims’ families, and get to the bottom of what happened that evening over Lockerbie.