While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.








Complete series cast summary:
Doran Godwin ...  Emma Woodhouse 6 episodes, 1972
John Carson ...  Mr. Knightley 6 episodes, 1972
Donald Eccles ...  Mr. Woodhouse 6 episodes, 1972
Constance Chapman ...  Miss Bates 6 episodes, 1972
Ellen Dryden ...  Mrs. Weston 6 episodes, 1972
Debbie Bowen ...  Harriet Smith 6 episodes, 1972
Raymond Adamson ...  Mr. Weston 6 episodes, 1972
Timothy Peters Timothy Peters ...  Mr. Elton 5 episodes, 1972
Vivienne Moore Vivienne Moore ...  Williams 5 episodes, 1972
Robert East ...  Frank Churchill 4 episodes, 1972
Ania Marson ...  Jane Fairfax 4 episodes, 1972
Mary Holder Mary Holder ...  Mrs. Bates 4 episodes, 1972
Fiona Walker ...  Mrs. Elton 3 episodes, 1972
Mollie Sugden ...  Mrs. Goddard 2 episodes, 1972
John Alkin John Alkin ...  Robert Martin 2 episodes, 1972
Amber Thomas Amber Thomas ...  Patty 2 episodes, 1972


This BBC production, set in the small town of Highbury depicts the often hilarious attempts of Miss Emma Woodhouse to make proper marital matches for all of her friends. Though often mistaken in her judgement, she is counseled and criticised by her neighbor and brother-in-law, the wise Mr. Knightley whose attentions to her are motivated by more than brotherly love. Written by Teresa B. O'Donnell <sun.moon.stars@worldnet.att.net>

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Comedy | Romance


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Did You Know?


The blue-flowered yellow muslin gown Debbie Bowen (Harriet Smith) wears at Hartfield is the same gown Natalie Ogle (Lydia Bennet) wears at Longbourn in Pride and Prejudice (1980). See more »


The characters are seen playing cards with a modern deck of cards that show both the suit symbol (hearts, clubs, spades, clubs) and a number on each corner. During the time period the movie was set in, playing cards did not show the number of the card in the corners. See more »


Featured in Funny Women: Mollie Sugden (1999) See more »


The Twenty-ninth of May
From John Playford's 'The English Dancing Master', First Edition (1651)
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User Reviews

Very faithful
17 December 2009 | by kayper54See all my reviews

I rather liked this. Given that the film makers were not limited to two hours, they were able to be faithful and true to the book. The few alterations were negligible and in many cases improvements. For a taped, studio-bound TV production, the sets and props were attractive and varied. The costumes were lovely and I liked the variation from the blatant cleavage-bearing dresses of more recent productions. I really appreciated Emma's expressing out loud to various characters the thoughts and feelings that in the book she keeps to herself. Her ranting about Mrs. Elton to Knightly and his endearing amusement in her irritation was a wonderful touch.

I'm not sure I cared for several of the characterizations here as compared to how they're described in the book or played in other adaptations. Mr. Woodhouse and Jane Fairfax are both much too harsh and sharp. Though I loved the actor playing him, Mr. Woodhouse should be much more sweet-tempered and warm-hearted. Jane Fairfax should be more gracious. Her shouting at Miss Bates in her first scene is completely out-of-character, however her emotional stress and discomfort comes through much better here than is described in the book and really seems more authentic. For some bizarre reason, good-looking, 23-year-old Frank Churchill was cast with an unattractive, 40-year-old actor and his performance does not excuse the poor casting choice. He was the only real disappointment.

It was hard not to be reminded in some ways of the 1996 theatrical production. I really wondered if Gwyneth Paltrow saw this and decided to base her portrayal of Emma on Doran Godwin's. I saw many similarities, though I prefer Paltrow's depth of feeling. I prefer Debbie Bowen's Harriet to Toni Collette's. Miss Bates and the Eltons can each be played only one way and they are well-served here. All in all, if you're a fan of the book, this is a very satisfactory interpretation.

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Release Date:

20 July 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Emma See more »

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Technical Specs


(6 parts)



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