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Jenna-Louise Coleman is Set to Appear as a Bennet Sister in a New Crime Drama

It Goes Ding When There's Stuff

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single story in possession of a good adaptation, must be in want of a murder. Doctor Who star Jenna-Louise Coleman is set to play Lydia Wickham, sister to Elizabeth Darcy, in the upcoming BBC crime drama Death Comes to Pemberley. The three part series is based on the novel of the same name by author P.D. James, and places the familiar characters of Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice in a more mysterious, murderous setting.

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The basic story in the book is as follows, from Amazon:

In their six years of marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy have forged a peaceful, happy life for their family at Pemberley, Darcy’s impressive estate. Her father is a regular visitor; her sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; the marriage prospects for Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, are favorable. And preparations for their annual autumn ball are proceeding apace. But on the eve of the ball, chaos descends. Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister who, with her husband, has been barred from the estate, arrives in a hysterical state—shrieking that Wickham has been murdered.  Plunged into frightening mystery and a lurid murder trial, the lives of Pemberley’s owners and servants alike may never be the same.

Given that Coleman is set to play Lydia, whose husband is the murder victim, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot of her in the series, possibly solving mysteries. I can certainly see the quick-talking Coleman as Lydia, who is quite chatty and energetic in Pride and Prejudice, if a little bit annoying and immature.

The series is set to start filming in Yorkshire later this June, and has already gathered many other actors to play the many members of the Bennet clan. Matthew Goode will play George Wickham, professionally horrible person and Lydia’s husband, while Elizabeth Bennet will be played by Anna Maxwell Martin and her husband, Fitzwilliam Darcy, will be played by Matthew Rhys. Daniel Percival will direct the series, which also features other familiar characters such as Rebecca Front as Mrs. Bennet, James Fleet as Mr. Bennet, and  Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgiana Darcy. Plus, Trevor Eve is set to play Sir Selwyn Hardcastle, Penelope Keith will play Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Joanna Scanlan will play Mrs Reynolds, Tom Ward will play Colonel Fitzwilliam, and James Norton will play Mr Alveston.

It seems like there is always a new take on Pride and Prejudice, but a murder mystery is a particularly logical step from the gossip and misunderstanding inherent to Austen’s original book, and is certainly a catchy subject for a television series, so I can see this premise working out reasonably well. Plus, we get to see Coleman in yet another era, so Doctor Who fans can always pretend that Clara Oswin Oswald is popping into the early 1800’s for a bit of adventure and intrigue.

(via The Hollywood Reporter, BBC, photo from Doctor Who episode The Snowmen)

Previously in Jenna-Louise Coleman

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