Andrew DaviesWhile Britain may have limited television options, the BBC has continued to churn out its high quality television adapatations of novels, both classic and contemporary. The current "go-to man" in giving the adaptations a rich life on screen is Andrew Davies, as profiled in the L.A. Times today, in anticipation of tonight's premiere of his adpatation of George Eliot's Daniel Deronda on PBS tonight and tomorrow.

Colin Firth is Mr. DarcyWhat's fascinating about Davies is that he only turned to writing full-time at 50, after being a teacher for most of his life, though writing on the side. His credits are impeccable, and his specialty adaptations: Adaptations of Middlemarch, Emma, Moll Flanders, Vanity Fair, co-authoring screenplay of the little-seen John LeCarre novel Tailor of Panama as well as Bridget Jones' Diary. Of course, the book, Bridget Jones' Diary, ostensibly inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, was truly sparked by Davies' seminal adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for the BBC, which launched Colin Firth as a sex symbol and gave him the opportunity to play Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones the film, a character inspired by Firth's portrayal of Mr. Darcy in P&P...wait, this is Charlie Kaufman territory.

Tipping the VelvetI was surprised that the L.A. Times article neglected to mention Davis' adaptation of Sarah Waters' Tipping the Velvet, a Victorian lesbian drama. (Victoriana! Lesbians! Lesbians in period costumes!) Of course, all associated with the TV film claim it's a universal story about love, which I'm sure it is, but let's face it, all the Brits tuned in to for the lesbian aspect - I know Gothamist would. Not sure when or if Tipping will make it stateside, but the BBC's Tipping the Velvet site has a ton of clips.