Vanity Fair (2018)
3 user 1 critic

Miss Sharp in the Presence of the Enemy 

After losing her teaching job, orphan Becky Sharp convinces kindly school-friend Amelia to take her in - and promptly sets about ensnaring Amelia's wealthy but oafish brother.


James Strong


Gwyneth Hughes (adapted by), William Makepeace Thackeray (novel)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Palin ... William Makepeace Thackeray
Olivia Cooke ... Becky Sharp
Suranne Jones ... Miss Pinkerton
Claudia Jessie ... Amelia Sedley
Siena Kelly Siena Kelly ... Rhoda Swartz
Sarah Williams Sarah Williams ... Posh Girl 1
Alice Kerrigan Alice Kerrigan ... Posh Girl 2
Kerry Gilbert Kerry Gilbert ... Jemima Pinkerton
Grace Schneider ... Laura Martin
Richie Campbell ... Sam
Johnny Flynn ... William Dobbin
Claire Skinner ... Mrs. Louisa Sedley
Simon Russell Beale ... Mr John Sedley
Charlie Rowe ... George Osborne
David Fynn ... Jos Sedley


Orphaned and penniless but clever Becky Sharp leaves Miss Pinkerton's academy and is taken in by kindly former classmate Amelia Sedley and her wealthy family. She soon bewitches Amelia's lumpen brother Jos, an official in colonial India, whilst Amelia's betrothal to dashing soldier George Osborne is observed by his loyal friend William Dobbin. Jos leaves Becky, who reluctantly accepts a post as governess to the children of dissolute member of parliament Sir Pitt Crawley. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Official Sites:

ITV Hub [United Kingdom]





Release Date:

21 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Suranne Jones (Miss Pinkerton) & Olivia Cooke (Becky Sharp) also worked together on The Secret of Crickley Hall (2012) as Eve Caleigh & Nancy Linnet respectively. See more »


[First English Country Dance played at Vauxhaul Gardens]
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User Reviews

Miss Sharp in the Presence of the Enemy
7 October 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Some people mistake Vanity Fair as one of these chocolate box Victorian classic romances. It is in fact a long, satirical dark edged story with no heroine and an unreliable narrator.

It is ripe for a modernist remake. The only problem is, I kept thinking that we just had a television adaptation recently. In fact the BBC serialised the novel both in the 1980s and 1990s. There was a film version in 2004 with Reese Witherspoon.

Olivia Cooke is spiky from the get go as the amoral social climber Becky Sharpe. In the first episode she has no desire to be a lowly nanny. She hooks up with friend Amelia, Becky stays in Amelai's family's house and desires her brother who is visiting from India. She plans to woo him because he is wealthy. Certainly not for his looks or brains as he is deficient in both those departments.

However others see through Becky's intentions and want to get rid of this upstart.

Michael Palin plays the author Thackeray. I presume he is the jovial but unreliable narrator.

ITV had high hopes that Vanity Fair would bring in the Downton Abbey audience was enjoy a period drama. It was pulverised by the BBC's Bodyguard in the ratings.

It is not bad, it did look a bit cheap in places with the green screen. It was also sluggish in its pacing. That is because it is an eight part series and I did feel the opening episode slowed down somewhat.

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