TV adaptation of Henry Fielding’s ‘Tom Jones’ reveals full cast as filming begins

PBS has announced more cast members for their upcoming Tom Jones adaptation.

Based on Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel, plans for the mini-series were first hinted at in 2018, and we finally got an update on the project last month.

The new four-part period drama from the makers of Victoria and Poldark is now filming in Northern Ireland.

Adapted by Vanity Fair screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes, Tom Jones stars Solly McLeod (The Rising) as our hero Tom, alongside Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me) as heroine Sophia Western.

We can now reveal that Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham has been added to the cast.

The Primetime Emmy award-winner will play the seductive and vengeful Lady Bellaston.

Pearl Mackie, best known for her role as companion Bill Potts in Doctor Who, will play Sophia’s trusted maid, Honour.

Executive producer Susanne Simpson commented: “Tom Jones is brimming with richly colorful characters. This is the perfect cast to bring them all to life.”

They’ll be joined by James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley) as Squire Allworthy, Tom’s warm-hearted adoptive father; Alun Armstrong (New Tricks) as Squire Western, Sophia’s hard drinking but loving grandfather; and Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter) as Sophia’s Aunt Western.

Tamzin Merchant (Carnival Row) will play Sophia’s Aunt Harriet, alongside Julian Rhind-Tutt (Britannia) as her bellicose husband Fitzpatrick.

The cast also includes Susannah Fielding (Life) as Mrs. Waters, Daniel Rigby (Black Mirror) as disgraced schoolteacher Partridge, James Wilbraham (In My Skin) as Tom’s bitter cousin Blifil, Felicity Montagu (The Durrells) as Blifil’s mother Bridget Allworthy, Janine Duvitski (Benidorm) as Allworthy’s testy housekeeper Mrs. Wilkins, Dean Lennox Kelly (Jamestown) as poacher-turned-gamekeeper Black George, and Lucy Fallon (Coronation Street) as his daughter Molly.

Writer Gwyneth Hughes previously commented: “Tom Jones is the mother of all romcoms and isn’t that just what we all need after the last couple of years of misery? It’s a story where the sun barely stops shining, where love conquers all, and at its warm heart stand a pair of young sweethearts everyone can root for.”

Director Georgia Parris has described the series as “an escapist romp into the sights, sounds and textures of 18th century England.”

The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling was previously adapted as an Oscar-winning film in 1963, starring Albert Finney, and as a BBC TV adaptation in 1997, starring Max Beesley.

The new version of Tom Jones will premiere in 2022 on ITV in the UK, and on PBS in the US.

Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones novel is available on Amazon.