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A History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997)
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Directed by: Metin Huseyin
Script by: Simon Burke
Status: Premiere Nov. 9, 1997 - BBC 1 (UK)
Genre: Period Drama/Comedy (5-part TV Mini-series)
Runtime: 5 x 95 min
Production Studio: BBC, A&E
Co-Stars: Max Beesley, Samantha Morton, Brian Blessed, Kathy Burke, Caleb Lloyd
Master William Blifil is the son of Captain Blifil and Bridget (Allworthy’s sister) who despises Tom and constantly schemes to remove Tom from Squire Allworthy’s favour.
Plot: Adaptation of an 18th century novel by Henry Fielding of the life, loves and adventures of the charming rascal, Tom Jones. A foundling child born of a serving wench but allowed to grow up in the privileged surroundings of Squire Allworthy's household. This position allows him to grow up with, make the acquaintance of and eventually fall in love with the beautiful daughter of his wealthy neighbour, Sophia Western. However, the path to true love rarely runs smooth and family pressure, the difference in their parentage and 18th century social custom prevent the young lovers from being together. Eventually both are forced out of their gentile, protected surroundings and into the great wide world to see what adventures real life might bring.
Trivia & Facts:
- In a fight scene with Mr. Blessed, a Yorkshireman with the build of an ox, Peter Capaldi leaned the wrong way and took a solid punch on the jaw. It was lights out for Mr. Capaldi, who was hustled off to the hospital. He made a colorful figure in the emergency room, dressed in full costume with wig, rouge and beauty patch. The punch remains in the finished miniseries.
Film Location: Belton House in Lincolnshire; Parnham Manor, Mapperton Manor, Powerstock in Dorset; Cranborne in North Somerset (England)
Awards & Nominations:
1998 BAFTA Television Award for Best Costume Design, Best Makeup/Hair, Best Original Music
1998 Television Award for Best Make up Design
James D’Arcy (on being out of work for 12 months after Tom Jones): Either I was so good in it that casting directors thought that was all I could do, or I was so bad that they thought I was useless. I felt rejected, but I tried not to take it personally.
Absolutely Delightful!!! James D'Arcy's Mr. Blifil is a brilliant, consistent job of careful, understated, contrived villainy
James D'Arcy does an awesome job of the hateful Mr. Blifil, although you do feel for him when you see the unusual relationship he has with his mother. --- Jane Austen Film Club