Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham has just joined the cast of ITV’s Tom Jones, an on-screen adaptation of the classic romance novel. Here’s everything we know about the upcoming series so far.
Classic novels are perfect inspiration boards for an emotionally charged, gripping drama. Recently announced Luster and My Name Is Leon adaptations are hotly anticipated but ITV is set to release a steamy novel-based series of its own – Tom Jones.
While the name may conjure up images of the beloved Welsh singer, the series and name is actually based on the classic 1749 novel, The History Of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding.
The book follows the often-tumultuous love life of Tom Jones and caused quite the literary stir when it was originally published. Due to themes of promiscuity and sex, audiences at the time did not initially receive the book well. Nevertheless, it is still generally regarded as Fielding’s best work.
Now, viewers will be treated to the on-screen delights of Tom Jones in ITV’s latest four-part series. Currently being filmed in Northern Ireland, the most recent addition to the cast is Hannah Waddingham, star of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso.
Here’s everything we know about the series so far.
What will Tom Jones be about?
Tom Jones is set to be our new favourite romance-fueled series as it will follow the title character’s complicated journey to find love.
ITV has said that Tom Jones will be “a picaresque story of the title character’s complicated journey to find real love. Tom Jones has delighted and scandalized readers since it was originally published in 1749.”
Writer and executive producer Gwyneth Hughes added: “Tom Jones is the mother of all romcoms and isn’t that just what we all need after the last couple of years of misery? It’s a story where the sun barely stops shining, where love conquers all and at its warm heart, stand a pair of young sweethearts everyone can root for. Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel is sexy and fun; it’s also a dramatic rollercoaster, addressing so many modern concerns around consent, sexual equality and the pursuit of happiness. Tom and Sophia overcome enormous obstacles before finding their way home and to each other.
“This is a classic adaptation with a wise soul and a great big smile on its face.”
Who will star in Tom Jones?
Solly McLeod (The Rising) stars as the hero, Tom, alongside Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me) as the heroine, Sophia Western.
Recently announced to join the cast is Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham who will play the “seductive and venegeful” Lady Bellaston. Waddingham won the 2021 Emmy award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her role as Rebecca Welton in the Apple TV+ series.
Other cast members include Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who) who will play Sophia’s trusted maid, Honour. Bridgerton’s James Fleet will feature as Squire Allworthy, Tom’s warm-hearted adoptive father. Alun Armstrong (Breeders) will also play Squire Western, Sophia’s loving grandfather, and Olivier-winner Shirley Henderson (Happy Valley) as Sophia’s Aunt Western.
What has been said so far about Tom Jones?
Masterpiece, known for ITV hit dramas like Sherlock and Downton Abbey, will be joining forces with ITV and Mammoth Screen (Victoria, Poldark) to bring us Tom Jones.
Masterpiece’s executive producer Susanne Simpson said: “Tom Jones is one of the most joyful, big-hearted romances ever written. We’re delighted to add it to the long list of Masterpiece classic adaptations.
“Mammoth Screen is the ideal producer to bring together a brilliant writer, exceptional director and outstanding cast for this ambitious project.”
Director Georgia Parris also said: “This production of Tom Jones is an escapist romp into the sights, sounds and textures of 18th century England.
“It is an intimate story that shows how love and desire drive and confound us all, both women and men. I can’t wait to get started on telling this classic story, one of the first ever English novels, and making it resonate with a modern audience.”
When will Tom Jones be available to watch on ITV?
The series is currently filming in Belfast, Northern Ireland. ITV has not announced an official release date for the four-part series yet.
Watch this space for updates as soon as we learn more.
Tom Jones will be released on ITV and ITV Hub but a release date has not yet been announced.