BBC Drama ‘War and Peace’ Attracts 6.3 Million Viewers In Opening Episode | TV News
Tom Harper’s six-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel War and Peace was two years in the making and filmed on location in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania. But his efforts have proven worthwhile, with its debut episode attracting millions of viewers and winning rave reviews.
Tolstoy’s masterpiece, that is over a whooping 1,200 pages, has been known to warn away even the most enthusiastic readers. Meanwhile, its complex narrative that follows the lives of five aristocratic families over various locations, time periods and war zones, is notoriously difficult to film. But Harper seems to have pulled it off, so far at least, with Serena Davies of The Telegraph calling it ”an excellent adaptation” and The Guardian critic, Viv Groskop stating ”it’s hard to imagine how the BBC could have done a better job.”
However, it has not gone without criticism with fellow The Guardian critic claiming ”this compellingly silly Russian saga is just a bit too English.” It is hard to reject this point as the tremendously British cast, together with American Paul Dano, cannot help but turn this Russian story into a British show set in Russia.
Yet, once the screen opens to jaw-dropping palaces, and the sight of a sledge gliding through the snowy streets of Moscow – you can’t resist being swept up in the romance of it all and clearly the viewers, that peaked at 6.7 million, were equally mesmerized.