Whose 'Middlemarch'? The 1994 British Broadcasting Corporation Television Production

Margaret Harris


The BBC television serialization of Middlemarch was a major media event in the United Kingdom at the beginning of 1994. Commentators put it about that it was a do-or-die effort: the BBC classic serial was in danger, because costume drama had been decreed to be obsolete, part of the dowdy Auntie Beeb stereotype, no longer good for ratings. And so with a budget of over £6 million for six episodes, making six and a half hours of viewing, and considerable promotion, Middlemarch went to air in January 1994 (and was shown later in the year in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere).

Its success was never in doubt.

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