11 incredible dramas based on books
From Wolf Hall to My Mad Fat Diary, these very different series were all popular books before they came to TV.
Based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel of the same name, released serially before being published in its entirety in 1869.
Brought to life in sumptuous detail by the BBC, the story follows the lives of three young people living in Russia as the country is drawn into war with France.
This epic tale of life, love and loss in 19th-century Russia was adapted for the screen by Andrew Davies (Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice) and stars Downton Abbey’s Lily James, Grantchester’s James Norton and The Crown’s Gillian Anderson.
Based on Åsa Larsson's beloved crime series. The first book in the series, Sun Storm, was published in 2003.
Centring on high-flying Stockholm-based lawyer Rebecka Martinsson, the series follows her as she moves back to her arctic hometown of Kiruna when a childhood friend dies.
But her return home is far from peaceful and she finds herself drawn into a series of gruesome murders and the thrilling hunt for a serial killer.
Based on a short story collection of the same name written by Russian doctor and writer Mikhail Bulgakov in the 1920s about his own experiences.
This dark comedy follows a young doctor as he arrives at an eerie, back-woods hospital on the eve of the Russian Revolution.
Mad Men’s Jon Hamm and Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe play the main character at different stages of his life as he deals with the strange patients and puzzling medical maladies at the fictional Muryevo Hospital.
Based on French author Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Three Musketeers, written in 1844.
Set in 17th-century Paris, this action-packed period drama set in a world of adventure and romance follows highly skilled soldiers D’Artagnan, Porthos, Athos and Aramis.
Together they must protect king and country against evil forces seeking to destroy them.
Based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s series of Sherlock Holmes stories which first appeared in print in 1887.
Bringing the iconic detective and his partner Watson into the 21st century, this series reimagines the pair sharing a flat in modern-day London and solving crimes based on the original Conan Doyle stories.
Created by former Doctor Who writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the series has racked up award nominations and won several Emmys and BAFTAs, including several for its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
Based on the 2007 novel My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary by the real-life Rae Earl.
This hilarious and honest look at teenage life in the mid-90s follows Rae, a funny, music-loving, boy-mad 16-year-old who has recently been discharged from a psychiatric ward.
Desperate to keep the reason for her absence a secret, Rae just wants to be normal, go out with her friends and maybe even get a boyfriend. This relatable, raw, nostalgic and laugh-out-loud funny series also stars Jodie Comer, before she was Killing Eve’s Villanelle.
Based on the 2008 spy novel of the same name by Alan Furst.
This stunning World War II drama stars David Tennant as the French Colonel Jean-François Mercier.
From diplomatic salons to the back alleys of Warsaw, Mercier is drawn into a web of international intrigue and begins a passionate love affair with Anna (This Is Us actor Janet Montgomery), a Parisian lawyer for the League of Nations.
Based on the Man Booker-Prize winning Thomas Cromwell trilogy by Hilary Mantel, the first of which was published in 2009.
Packed full of back room dealings, power struggles and deadly political intrigue, this series chronicles the rise of Thomas Cromwell from the son of a blacksmith to one of the most powerful advisors to King Henry VIII.
Cromwell finds himself at the centre of Machiavellian manoeuvrings at the Tudor Court in this House of Cards-style period drama starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Claire Foy.
Based on the Archie comics series, first published in 1945.
After Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comes the next series in the Archie comics universe. This bright, bold, high-fashion drama follows 20-something aspiring fashion designer Katy Keene (Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale) and her four friends as they chase their dreams in New York City.
It’s a spin-off of Riverdale, with Josie McCoy making the move to the big city, but it’s more musicals and less murder. Think The Carrie Diaries meets Gossip Girl.
Based on three novellas by Elizabeth Gaskell published between 1849 and 1858.
This comic period drama revolves around the people of Cranford, a small Cheshire village on the cusp of change in the 1840s. It’s a town that is ruled by its single and widowed female inhabitants who are determined to maintain the status quo despite the impending Industrial Revolution and the arrival of a new male doctor.
The series boasts an extraordinary cast including veteran British actors Judi Dench, Jim Carter, Francesca Annis, Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton.
Based on the blog and books written by Brooke Magnanti about her personal experiences working as a call girl.
Actor and singer Billie Piper stars as Hannah, an ambitious woman leading a thrilling but dangerous double life as high-class call girl Belle du Jour.
This funny and raunchy British drama follows Hannah as she tries to keep her personal and professional lives separate, hoping she won’t have to tell her family and friends that she’s not really a legal secretary…