‘Tom Jones’ first look: ‘Poldark’ team adapt classic novel for ITV

The first images have been released from the new adaptation of Tom Jones.

Based on Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel, the upcoming four-part period drama is produced by the makers of Victoria and Poldark.

Tom Jones began filming in Northern Ireland last autumn, from a script by Vanity Fair screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes.

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

This new version for ITV and PBS stars Solly McLeod (The Rising) as our hero Tom, alongside Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me) as heroine Sophia Western.

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

Executive producer James Gandhi commented last year: “With Gwyneth Hughes’s masterful scripts, Georgia Parris at the directing helm and rising stars Solly McLeod and Sophie Wilde leading the cast – we couldn’t be more excited to bring this joyous 18th century story of identity and romance to the screen.”

Explaining why she chose Henry Fielding’s classic story to adapt, writer Gwyneth Hughes said: “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?

She added: “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.”

Alongside newcomers Solly McLeod and Sophie Wilde, the cast includes a number of familiar faces for British TV fans.

James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley) is playing Squire Allworthy, Alun Armstrong (New Tricks) plays Squire Western, and Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter) is Sophia’s Aunt Western.

They’re joined by Tamzin Merchant (Carnival Row) as Sophia’s Aunt Harriet, with Julian Rhind-Tutt (Britannia) playing her bellicose husband Fitzpatrick.

Meanwhile, Emmy award-winner Hannah Waddingham from Ted Lasso and Sex Education is playing the seductive and vengeful Lady Bellaston.

We’ve got a sneak peek at her fabulous look here:

The cast also includes Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who), Susannah Fielding (Life), Daniel Rigby (Black Mirror), Felicity Montagu (The Durrells), Janine Duvitski (Benidorm), and Dean Lennox Kelly (Shameless).

Tom Jones will premiere this winter on ITV in the UK, and on PBS in the US.

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