10 brilliant dramas based on books
Binge some of our favourite shows that started out as novels and were brought to life on the small screen!
Based on a series of novels by British novelist and poet Ford Madox Ford, this series is set against the backdrop of World War I and follows the life of English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens.
Tietjens, played by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, marries a beautiful but cruel socialite, only to later fall in love with a young suffragette.
The period drama also stars Rebecca Hall (Vicky Christina Barcelona), Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and Miranda Richardson (Girlfriends).
Following the footsteps of The Night Manager, The Little Drummer Girl is based on the novel of the same name by the king of espionage fiction John le Carré.
Set in its original 1970s setting, this immersive six-part thriller follows a fiery and unfulfilled British actress who becomes entangled in a complex plot devised by a spy mastermind.
Come for the story and stay for the powerhouse performances from Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies), Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water) and Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth).
Unlike the 2012 movie starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, this TV adaptation was based on the novel by Victor Hugo, rather than the musical.
This sprawling tale of love, death and the struggle for social justice in early 19th-century France stars Dominic West, Olivia Colman, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins.
Screenwriter Andrew Davies is responsible for some of the best book-to-TV adaptations - including the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries - so the story was safe in his capable and experienced hands.
This Italian drama is based on the first of the Neapolitan Novels by mysterious author Elena Ferrante. Regarded as a modern masterpiece, the story follows two girls, Lila and Elena, growing up in a poor neighbourhood in post-war Naples.
This series is a breath-taking and painstakingly accurate adaptation, with Ferrante involved in production – and it’s already been renewed for a second season.
This bold and unexpectedly hilarious British drama is based on the acclaimed biography of Rose Cartwright. Putting her experience with Pure O, a rare form of OCD, on paper and now onto the small screen, Cartwright shows the darkly funny side of her diagnosis.
In the series, newcomer Charly Clive plays Marnie, a woman who is plagued by intrusive and disturbing sexual thoughts who jumps on a bus to London to find out what is wrong with her.
Based on a series of books by award-winning New Zealand author Charlotte Grimshaw, this thrilling local crime drama follows an affluent family’s fall from grace when a murder investigation reveals a tangled web of secrets and lies.
The series also stars Jodie Hillock, Madeleine Sami, Xavier Horan and Chelsie Preston-Crayford.
From London to the Battle of Waterloo, this adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic is a visual feast. While it was originally published in 1847, the TV series proves just how timeless this satire of the wealthy and powerful in 19th-century England really is.
The cast list is a who’s who of incredible British actors including Olivia Cooke as the cunning Becky, Monty Python legend Michael Palin as the author and narrator, Martin Clunes (Doc Martin), Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) and Frances de la Tour (Harry Potter).
George Clooney produces, directs and stars in this adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22, the World War II satire about iconic anti-hero and U.S Air Force Bombardier Captain John Yossarian.
Stationed in Italy, Yossarian tries everything he can think of to get out of active duty but finds his real adversary isn’t the Germans, it’s the bureaucracy of war and the hilariously sinister Catch-22.
The series stars Christopher Abbott as Yossarian, Kyle Chandler as Colonel Cathcart and Hugh Laurie as Major de Coverley.
Justin Cronin’s best-selling sci-fi trilogy comes to life in an epic, character-driven thriller thanks to producer Ridley Scott.
Saved by the Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselaar plays Brad Wolgast, a Federal Agent charged with bringing child Amy Bellafonte to Project NOAH to be a medical test subject for a virus that could eradicate all human diseases – but carries the potential to wipe out the human race.
Wolgast realises he must protect Amy at all costs and flees his employers with the child in tow.
This may be surprising to many but Killing Eve – the Guardian’s best TV show of 2018 – is based on a series of novellas written by Luke Jennings called Codename Villanelle.
For the series, screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge added her own quirky humour and style to the cat and mouse chase between psychopathic assassin Villanelle and MI5 agent Eve Polastri and it’s now racking up awards and accolades. Plus the superb cast, including Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw, will keep you coming back for more.