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Tess of the D'Urbervilles 

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The story of Tess Durbeyfield, a low-born country girl whose family find they have noble connections.
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3,388 ( 141)

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2009  
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Gemma Arterton ...  Tess Durbeyfield 4 episodes, 2008
Eddie Redmayne ...  Angel Clare 4 episodes, 2008
Ruth Jones ...  Joan Durbeyfield 4 episodes, 2008
Hans Matheson ...  Alec D'Urberville 4 episodes, 2008
Ian Puleston-Davies ...  John Durbeyfield 4 episodes, 2008
Christopher Fairbank ...  Groby 4 episodes, 2008
Jo Woodcock ...  Liza-Lu Durbeyfield 4 episodes, 2008
Steven Robertson ...  Cuthbert Clare 4 episodes, 2008
Hugh Skinner ...  Felix Clare 4 episodes, 2008
Jodie Whittaker ...  Izzy Huett 3 episodes, 2008
Kenneth Cranham ...  Mr Clare 3 episodes, 2008
Donald Sumpter ...  Parson Tringham 3 episodes, 2008
Rebekah Staton ...  Marion 3 episodes, 2008
Jessica Turner ...  Mrs Clare 3 episodes, 2008
Jeany Spark ...  Mercy Chant 3 episodes, 2008
Joel Rowbottom Joel Rowbottom ...  Abraham Durbeyfield 3 episodes, 2008
Christine Bottomley ...  Kate 3 episodes, 2008
Emma Stansfield ...  Mary 3 episodes, 2008
Emily Beecham ...  Retty Priddle 2 episodes, 2008
Trevor Cooper ...  Mr Crick 2 episodes, 2008
Sally Bankes ...  Mrs Crick 2 episodes, 2008
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Storyline

In the late 19th century, Tess Durbeyfield is sent off to visit a rich cousin, Alec D'Urberville, when her parents learn that they are distantly related. Tess takes a disliking to the man and his attempts at seduction are rebuffed. Returning from a village party he forces himself on the innocent girl who eventually makes her way back to her parents' home. Ashamed and pregnant she seems destined to forever being marked a certain kind of woman. After the death of her child, she makes her way to a prosperous farm where, working as a milkmaid, she meets and eventually marries the handsome Angel Clare. On learning of her past however, he abandons her and with little choice and facing a life of extreme hardship, again falls into Alec's clutches and becomes a kept woman. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK] | PBS [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tess of the D'Urbervilles See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gemma Arterton is the first English-born actress to portray Tess. All the previous actresses to play the part were born in the United States (Minnie Maddern Fiske and Blanche Sweet), Germany (Nastassja Kinski), or South Africa (Justine Waddell). See more »

Goofs

There are two musical anachronisms. First, Angel plays an autoharp which was not invented until the 1880s in Germany, and would not have been an English folk instrument at the time of TESS. Secondly, the congregation is heard singing "How Great Thou Art," which was written in Swedish in 1885, but was not commonly known in English until Stuart Hine's translation (circa 1950). See more »

Connections

Version of Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1924) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Good adaptation
6 October 2008 | by jhsteelSee all my reviews

This is the first BBC dramatisation of this wonderful novel by Thomas Hardy, which I have read several times. I first knew it from the Roman Polanski film which has a different approach to casting - Tess was played by Nastassja Kinski who was more obviously sexual in her appearance, and Angel Clare was Peter Firth, who to me had more charisma than Eddie Redmayne. I loved that film and it was very upsetting to watch, when I was in my teens. Now I'm older and wiser, but Tess's story is so tragic that it still has enormous sadness. I felt that the protagonists in this version were more believable as young people living in a rural community, but the romance between Tess and Angel was not very convincing. Angel was well represented as a weak man who makes bad decisions, but he could have been more attractive, to persuade me that all the milkmaids were in love with him. So on the whole, although the story was told in faithful detail and well done, it didn't excite me in the way I expected. I always have sympathy for Tess as a character - whether or not she was technically raped is open to interpretation, but the main facts are that she was an innocent girl who was preyed upon by one man and let down by another. However, to be a tragic heroine, she possesses character flaws that allow her to succumb to the events that overcome her. It is a sad story that has relevance still, and it is a good introduction for viewers who have never read the wonderful book.


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