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New PBS/BBC Little Women Adaptation, Here’s What We Know So Far (Plus New Trailer)

There’s something about nostalgic classics that will never, ever, be a book genre I tire of. One of these classics, penned by the talented Louisa May Alcott, is Little Women.

So, when I learned PBS, in association with Colin Callender’s Playground (also a production partner for the new Howard’s End adaptation), and the BBC teamed to adapt Little Women, I was a little bit overexcited. Though I have fond memories of the 1994 adaptation, something about a 3-part TV production was like a dream come true.

But before I talk about some of my personal thoughts on the cast and production, here’s the PBS’ official “about the show” synopsis:

Loved by generations of women worldwide, Little Women is a truly universal coming of age story. Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, the story follows sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March on their journey from childhood to adulthood. With the help of their mother, Marmee, and while their father is away at war, the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman: from sibling rivalry and first love, to loss and marriage.

Based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, this three-part adaptation from the award-winning creator of Call the Midwife Heidi Thomas (Cranford, Upstairs Downstairs) will be directed by Vanessa Caswill (Thirteen, My Mad Fat Diary) and is currently filming in Ireland.


The Cast of Little Women

Shortly after the official news for this production broke, the cast list also began making the news. Needless to say, it’s a good one.

The familiar faces include Emily Watson as Marmee alongside veterans Michael Gambon (Wives & Daughters, Harry Potter) as Mr. Laurence and Angela Lansbury as Aunt March. While this talent inspires confidence (and I’ve zero doubt they’ll do their respective roles justice), what really excites me are the titular characters.

The March sisters will be portrayed by Annes Elwy as Beth; Kathryn Newton as Amy; Willa Fitzgerald as Meg; and Maya Hawke as the incomparable Jo. Cast as the men in the March sisters lives are Jonah Hauer-King as Laurie; Julian Morris (Once Upon a Timeas John Brooke; and Mark Stanley as Professor Baehr. Some of us may recognize Willa from Royal Pains. Kathryn appeared in the popular Big Little Lies, and Jonah was also in the 2017 Howard’s End adaptation.


While no official trailer has dropped as of yet, you can catch a few sneak peeks at the production in the BBC Christmas trailer released a few days ago. So, check it out!


Update from our original post: On December 15, 2017, Masterpiece PBS dropped the first official trailer for Little Women.  So, make sure to watch!


Just the fact that Masterpiece is producing  this is “enough said.” But while this production company never puts out anything less than stellar, there is still more to anticipate. The supreme talent of Heidi Thomas will pen the script. Most of us recognize Heidi as the talent behind the long-running and beloved TV show Call the Midwife. 

Then there is this cast! What I love best about it, is the relative anonymity and that the cast is young. I respect that casting directors went outside the pool of familiar talent and cast unknowns (some of whom make their debut with these roles). I think it’ll give viewers the chance to watch this with fresh eyes and see the story in a new light. A challenge that isn’t always easy to do with classic literature that’s been remade time and again.

Guaranteed to turn in memorable performances coupled with elegant costuming and stunning scenery, Little Women is sure to be beautiful. Set to premiere in the U.K. this Christmas and May 13, 2018, on Masterpiece Theatre (U.S.), this is one production period drama aficionados shouldn’t miss.

Tell me, are you excited about this production? If so, what are you most looking forward to? Sound off below.

Featured Image Credit: Little Women. Courtesy of MASTERPIECE on PBS, BBC, and Playground.

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By on December 7th, 2017

About Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. She’s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (https://www.rissiwrites.com).

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4 thoughts on “New PBS/BBC Little Women Adaptation, Here’s What We Know So Far (Plus New Trailer)”

    • Nothing wrong with being a purist, Nyssa. I wonder if with make up, etc. they’ll “age” Mark up a bit or leave his character more in line with the actor’s age. It’ll be interesting, for sure! Who would have been your dream cast for the professor? 🙂

  1. I am really hoping this is good. I would also love it if someone would adapt the other two novels in the series though I guess that’s probably unlikely.


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