6 thoughts on “TBT: The Return of the Native (1994)

  1. I really need to see this again. I watched it several times in my early teens, rather enraptured by the sadness of it — and in love with the name “Eustacia.” It was the first place I ever saw Catherine Zeta-Jones, and I remember thinking she was the most gorgeous person I had ever seen. :P

  2. Thomas Hardy was one of my favourite writers when I was young and along with Tolstoy had the most influence over my thinking. This adaptation is OK but as you point out, it misses the depth of the novel. I think my favourite Hardy adaptation is the BBC,1978 Mayor of Casterbridge with Alan Bates in the title role. I am also very fond of the 98 adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd. It is one of my “pick me up” dramas. When I am really feeling brave I re watch the more recent version of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, tissues at the ready. I am not brave enough to re watch Jude the Obscure excellent though the film was.
    My favourite television adaption of any novel is one I have mentioned rather a lot of late. The 1972 BBC War and Peace.

    1. I haven’t seen that version of Casterbridge – must hunt it down! Those ’70s era BBC adaptions could be quite good, they were typically very faithful to the novels.

  3. I hope you can track it down Trystan. Alan Bates is superb as Henchard. Yes back in the 70s BBC adaptations tended to be more faithful to the source material and mostly to historical accuracy as well. I think there was a little more respect for the intelligence of the audience in evidence. I have rewatched a lot of series from that era in recent years and been surprised at how well they hold up except perhaps the technical aspects.

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