You can watch a “new” range of classic drama box sets that are now available on the BBC’s iPlayer. They include such memorable dramas as Pride And Prejudice and the original 1990 version of House Of Cards.
Regarded by many as the definitive on-screen version of the beloved Jane Austen novel, the 1995 adaptation of Pride And Prejudice, by Andrew Davies, features Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy emerging soaking wet from the lake at Pemberley, and also stars Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet.
Classic drama fans can also enjoy the first series of House Of Cards, which follows the rise of Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, played by Ian Richardson. With echoes of the present day, he schemes for power in the Conservative Party following the end of Margaret Thatcher’s reign. It also stars Susannah Harker who was nominated for a Bafta as Mattie Storin.
A Netflix remake of the show, starring Kevin Spacey and set in the political world of Washington, has become a huge, global hit. Fans of Elizabeth Gaskell will welcome the 2004 adaptation North And South, which introduced audiences to heartthrob Richard Armitage before he went on to star in Spooks and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.
BBC drama boss Piers Wenger said: “What a wonderful treat for us to be able to bring all these programmes back to BBC iPlayer.
“As well as reliving iconic moments like Mr Darcy’s lake scene and Francis Urquhart’s political scheming and manipulations, we’ve also reached deep into the BBC’s archive to bring audiences treasures like the brilliant sci-fi classic Quatermass And The Pit and an early breakout performance from Judi Dench in Talking To A Stranger.”
Quatermass And The Pit was originally broadcast by the BBC in 1958, and made a big impression on the creators of Doctor Who.
Talking To A Stranger was a 1966 series that featured a memorable, Bafta-winning performance from Dame Judi. Viewers can also enjoy Mike Leigh’s 1976 cult comedy Nuts In May – the story of a nature-loving couple’s battle to enjoy what they perceive as the idyllic camping holiday.
The shows are now available on the BBC iPlayer.