Produced by Mammoth Screen for ITV, Lost in Austen is a 4-part drama which sees its heroine transported back through time to exchange places with Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet and live her life in Georgian Britain.
Disillusioned with her life in London and disenchanted with her boyfriend, Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) discovers Elizabeth Bennet (Gemma Arterton) in her bathroom. She soon finds herself swapping place with Lizzie, and enters the ‘real’ fictional world of Pride and Prejudice, arriving at Longbourne, the home of the Bennet family. Realising she’s joined the action at the very start of the story, she gets to know the remaining Bennet sisters, and prepares to meet Mr Darcy (Elliot Cowan). How will she keep the greatest love story of all time on track when Elizabeth Bennet is stuck in the modern world?
Playing Mr and Mrs Bennet are Hugh Bonneville and Alex Kingston; Lindsay Duncan plays Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh; Morven Christie is Jane Bennet, Tom Mison is Mr Bingley, Tom Riley is Captain Wickham, and Christina Cole is Caroline Bingley.
The four part series is written by acclaimed television writer Guy Andrews (Chancer, Prime Suspect, Absolute Power, Lewis). The director is Dan Zeff (Worst Week of my Life, Doctor Who, Marple) and producer is Kate McKerrell (Lewis).
The production team used some of Yorkshire’s most stunning locations including Bramham Park in Wetherby, Harewood House near Leeds, Oakwell Hall in Kirklees, the historic City of York, and Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire to portray the contrast between the period of Pride and Prejudice and modern day city life. Leeds City markets also doubled as a nineteenth-century London Hammersmith train station for the production which shot in the region in October and November 2007.
Screen Yorkshire invested in Lost in Austen through its Production Fund (2003- 2010) and secured jobs for a number of regional trainees. The production liaison team were also instrumental in attracting the drama to the region and ensured filming could go ahead without a hitch by negotiating filming permissions with local authorities and police. Mammoth Screen’s Michele Buck, who produced the series for ITV commented:
“Without Screen Yorkshire’s investment and support, the project would not have been possible. This, coupled with the stunning locations on offer, meant Yorkshire was clearly the place to base production.”
Mammoth Screen were so impressed by what Yorkshire had to offer that they returned for seven weeks in 2008 to shoot their classic adaptation of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, using locations such as Oakwell Hall, Bramham Park and Stockeld Park.