Pearl Mackie latest role takes her back to 18th century England and classic novel adaptation Tom Jones

This year’s new adaptation of classic novel Tom Jones arrived on ITVX last week, providing Pearl Mackie with her latest post-Doctor Who role. The familiar tale tells of the love affair between young neighbours. There’s Sophia, the privileged daughter of Squire Western, and Tom, the abandoned child raised by Squire Allworthy as his own. But despite growing up in similar surroundings, the circumstances of Tom’s birth throws an apparently unsurmountable barrier between them. And then there’s Tom’s talent as a magnet for trouble and women…

Doctor Who’s former Bill Potts plays Honour, Sophia’s maid, who gets dragged into the pair’s star crossed misadventures despite her better judgement. And Mackie has been singled out for praise in several of the reviews of the four part mini-series. Her Honour steals each scene she’s in with her mix of grounded reality and comic ability.

Tom Jones is just one of Pearl Mackie’s projects this year. You can also catch her in Netflix’s The Diplomat as Alysse, as well as one of the voices behind cartoon series Lloyd of the Flies. Next she’ll be on screen as Sarah in drama film Tyger. From next month you can see her on stage at the National Theatre too, in Grenfell: In The Words Of Survivors.


Mackie’s Tom Jones co-stars include Hannah Waddingham, Shirley Henderson, and Dean Lennox Kelly

The cast also includes la femme du moment, Hannah Waddingham, as the scheming Lady Bellaston. It’s Bellaston’s attraction to Tom which becomes an obsession that threatens the young couple’s happiness. Meanwhile other Doctor Who faces feature, like Shirley Henderson (Ursula, Love & Monsters) as Sophia’s fretful Aunt Western, Susannah Fielding (Lillian, Victory of the Daleks) as Honour’s fellow servant Mrs. Waters, and Dean Lennox Kelly (Shakespeare, The Shakespeare Code) as the gameskeeper George. Meanwhile, relative newcomers Solly McLeod (House of the Dragon) and Sophie Wilde (The Portable Door) play Tom and Sophia.

Regarded as one of the great comic romances of the 18th century, Tom Jones has been adapted several times before. Most notably the 1963 movie starring Albert Finney as Tom and Susannah Harker as Sophia.


Tom Jones (2023) on ITVX now (c) ITV
Tom Jones (2023) on ITVX now (c) ITV

Tom Jones

One of the greatest novels in the English language returns in a four-part adaptation of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, giving a new twist to the tale of an illegitimate young man’s love for a beautiful heiress. Solly McLeod (House of the Dragon) stars as Tom, with Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me) as Sophia, the object of his infatuation and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) as the iconic seductress Lady Bellaston. The stellar cast also includes James Fleet, Shirley Henderson, Alun Armstrong, Pearl Mackie, and a torrent of other talent. It brings mid-18th-century England to life in all its passion and prejudice, luxury and loose morals.

You can stream all four episodes of Tom Jones now on ITVX


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