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Adam Bede

by BBC


The honest, upright and faithful Adam Bede is a humble carpenter who falls in love with the beautiful but shallow Hetty Sorrel.

Hetty spurns Adam in favour of a wealthy marriage to a nobleman, Lord Arthur. Though deeply hurt, Adam never relinquishes his love and tries to win Hetty back in his own single-minded, diligent fashion. Balancing the romantic drama is the calm, good-hearted presence of Adam’s childhood sweetheart, Dinah Morris who waits patiently for Adam’s love to return.

In this fine BBC drama, adapted from George Eliot’s classic novel, the evocations of a bygone rural life are charged with passions of seduction and betrayal, as Adam discovers moral growth and redemption.


After all the cold scraps of recycled repeats and old movies, ‘Adam Bede’ (BBC1) itself adapted by Maggie Wadey and directed by Giles Foster was one of the few new works of the New Year and it was as good as any adaptation of the classics the BBC has done for a very long time.

– The Mail On Sunday, John Wells

Giles Foster gave us a fine adaptation of ‘Adam Bede’. The hayfields and horses glistened in careful composition like a Stubbs landscape in this first version of George Eliot’s tragedy… Maggie Wadey’s intelligent adaptation boldly took it’s time evoking the pace of rural eighteenth century life while skimping on the novel’s moral waffle. Rex Maidment’s camera probed the well cast faces of the actors for the story’s emotional resonances. Iain Glen’s forceful Adam had a genuine virile decency.

– Independent On Sunday, John Lair


Iain Glen
Adam Bede
Patsy Kensit
Hetty Sorrel
Susannah Harker
Dinah Morris
James Wilby
Arthur Donnithorne
Julia McKenzie
Mrs. Poyser
Robert Stephens
Reverend Irwine
Jean Marsh
Lisbeth Bede
Freddie Jones
Old Squire
Michael Percival
Court Official
Edward Jewesbury
Brian Osborne
Jury Spokesman
Paul Brooke
Martin Poyser
Tacita Haffenden
Totty Poyser
Chase Marks
Tommy Poyser
William Holmes
Marty Poyser
Alan Cox
Seth Bede
Michael Robbins
Thias Bede
Jonathan Coy
Johnnie Van Derrick
Jennie Heslewood
Bill Moody
Patsy Byrne
Sarah Stone
James Greene
Prosecution Council
George Innes
John Olding
John Burgess
Giles Foster
Writers (original novel)
George Eliot
Writers (screenplay)
Maggie Wadey
Peter Goodchild
Rex Maidment


Adam Bede was as good as any adaptation of the classics the BBC has done for a very long time.