Thursday, October 5, 2023

A must watch on TV today for all the lovers of romance

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Tom Jones is abandoned as the newborn baby of a wealthy gentleman. The miniseries follows how he tries to find his place in 18th century England. What about forbidden love neighbor Sophia?

8.5. 18:00

When the kind and wealthy gentleman (James Fleet) returns from a trip to his mansion, there’s quite a surprise: a strange baby!

The servant and his sister are of the opinion that the child should be given away. However, it is clear to the lord of the manor that the child will be kept. The name of the child will be Tom Jones.

It quickly becomes apparent that the child’s mother is a bookish Sunday school girl who belongs to the service force, but she refuses to reveal the father.

As a child, Tom Jones is treated very badly. They talk about him as a clumsy, his own cousin teases him, and the teacher hits him on the back with a map stick.

Orphaned, Sofia moves into her grandfather’s mansion next door. His mother was Jamaican, a slave on a sugar plantation who died in childbirth. All she remembers about her father is that he liked to smoke cigarettes and drink brandy. The father died of tropical fever.

Tom and Sophia become friends, but soon the girl is sent to her aunt in the city to be raised as a good lady.

When Tom is in his twenties, women enjoy his company. The situation doesn’t matter to the young man at all, but he tries the most to make his place in the world.

The situation is not helped by the obnoxious cousin who tries to hide his jealousy behind mean words.

Sophia's grandfather (Alun Armstrong) and aunt (Shirley Henderson) and Tom's evil cousin (James Wilbraham).

Sophia’s grandfather (Alun Armstrong) and aunt (Shirley Henderson) and Tom’s evil cousin (James Wilbraham). Photo: ITV / Yale

Tom grows up to be a gentleman, though he worries whether a fatherless man can be a gentleman.

When Sophia returns to her grandfather, she and Tom fall in love. In 18th century England with class distinctions, a common path is hard to come by. There are many obstacles along the way, such as Sophia’s plan for a forced marriage with Tom’s cousin.

Subsequent episodes of the Tom Jones series (2023) follow how the man’s search for love progresses. At least the vengeful and seductive Lady Bellaston, played by Emmy winner Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso), will be up against him.

The four-part miniseries is based on Henry Fielding’s social satire, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749). The book is widely considered a British classic.

The book was previously adapted into a film in 1963. In the Oscar-winning film, Albert Finney played the title character and Susannah York played Sophia.

Tom (Albert Finney) and Molly (Diane Cilento) from the 1963 film Tom Jones - The Hollywood Charmer.  The work will be shown on the Teema & Fame channel in July.

Tom (Albert Finney) and Molly (Diane Cilento) from the 1963 film Tom Jones – The Hollywood Charmer. The work will be shown on the Teema & Fame channel in July. Photo: Woodfall Film Productions

The series, which was filmed in Northern Ireland, was written by Gwyneth Hughes, whose screenplay series have previously appeared in Finland, such as Turudden Turrill, Dark Angel and Honor.

Tom Jones is the mother of all romantic comedies, Hughes said in his statement.

– Henry Fielding’s novel is sexy and funny. It’s also a dramatic rollercoaster that tackles many contemporary concerns like sexual equality and the pursuit of happiness.

Tom Jones is played by Solly MacLeod, and Sophia is played by Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me).

Tom Jones was abandoned as a child.  He grew up to be a kind gentleman.  Tom Jones is played by Solly MacLeod.

Tom Jones was abandoned as a child. He grew up to be a kind gentleman. Tom Jones is played by Solly MacLeod. Photo: ITV / Yale

Solly McLeod is still a recent writer. Born in Scotland, McLeod worked in cafes and bars before joining The Unseen Acting School in London just before the coronavirus pandemic.

Career took off quickly. For example, he has starred in the TV series The Rising and House of the Dragon.

– While playing Tom, I learned to be more open and enjoy the little things, like picking flowers by the side of the road. She’s innocent, so I tried to dig her out of a younger version of myself, McLeod told ScreenDaily.

Tom Jones series on Mondays 8.5. at 19:00 from TV1 and at Yale Arena.

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