To mark the 50th anniversary of Evelyn Waugh’s death, the BBC has announced the production of a new three-part TV adaptation of his first novel Decline and Fall. The series will be adapted by James Wood who also wrote the scripts for the popular TV series Rev. According to the website British Comedy Guide :
Decline And Fall is described by the BBC as the author’s “first, most perfect novel”…The BBC explains: “[Paul Pennyfeather’s] unfair expulsion from Oxford kick-starts a disastrous series of events, wherein he is by turn a naive teacher, a celebrity bridegroom, a wanted fugitive, and an international (and unintentional) white slave-trader – while always being, indubitably – a victim of comic misfortune”…The BBC describes the three part series as “dazzling” and “anarchic, stylish and hilarious.” The series is being made by Tiger Aspect and Cave Bear Productions, and was commissioned Shane Allen, Charlotte Moore and Chris Sussman to mark 50 years since Waugh’s death.
An earlier film adaptation of the novel by Ivan Foxwell was released as Decline and Fall of a Birdwatcher (1968) with somewhat disapointing results. Leo McKern’s portrayal of Capt. Grimes makes it worth a look however. BBC Radio4 produced a successful adaptation of the novel by Jeremy Front only last year. See earlier post.