Matthew Rhys is taking a break from FX’s The Americans and joining a BBC three-part series where he will play none other than Jane Austen’s famous Mr. Darcy, although he’ll technically be playing P.D. James’ version of the famous character. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, the BBC is putting together a series based on James’ murder mystery, Death Comes To Pemberly, which takes place several years after the events in Austen’s beloved book.

Many of Austen’s most beloved characters pervade the pages of James’ book, and a good chunk of the story takes place in Pemberley, six years after Darcy and his beloved Elizabeth tie the knot. The two have put together a magnificent ball and have invited many friends and family members over, but when Elizabeth’s sister Lydia shows up unannounced and uninvited, the jovial atmosphere turns into a much darker one as a murder story unfolds. According to Deadline, Rhys will be partnered up with Anna Maxwell Martin, who will play Elizabeth in the drama, and Matthew Goode,, who will play the charming scoundrel Wickham.

I actually read Death Comes To Pemberley and found the eventual resolution of the murder mystery to be wanting. However, it wouldn’t take much to tweak the story, and perhaps the BBC will be able to find a way to make James’ recent title more action-oriented and compelling. If not, we are likely in for a lengthy, but well-acted drama. Shooting is expected to begin on Death Comes to Permberly next month and the program is slated for a premiere on BBC1 around the holidays in 2013.

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