The story written and adapted to screenplay by Voet centres on the love story and heartbreak of 16-year-old Sarah Whittington, the only daughter of Lord and Lady Whittington. The heartwarming yet dramatic story, tells of class division, corruption, deceit and betrayal she falls in love with unlikely suitor Joe Lambert whom she meets in secret, aware their class division means their relationship will never be accepted.
When Joe is sent to war, Sarah works at the local hospital, however her life takes a new path of grief and suppression after overhearing two soldiers sent back from Dunkirk.
The drama is set in the naval town of Portsmouth and will focus on not only the love story, but the role Portsmouth as a town played in the war as the nearest British port the wounded and dying were shipped too.
During an interview with imediamonkey Claire Voet discussed the forthcoming project.
On how the screenplay came about?
“I actually wrote it myself as a screenplay, whenever I write a book I see it as a movie as I write it, and I had always seen Whittington Manor as a TV series. Critics have likened Whittington Manor current period dramas such as Downton Abbey & Upstairs, Downstairs, with regard to the social divide, between upper-class and lower-class, but I tried to stay clear of that with regards to it being condensed into one house, with the story not focusing on servants and residents. Although there are some storylines which involve the servants, the main focus is on the social classes of the Whittington’s and the Lamberts, and the divide that falls between them.”
“As well as the romance, there have been a lot of other notable things thrown in to do with the area and the history of the area, which had not previously been covered by any other dramas.”
About the BBC’s involvement?
“Whilst I am not at liberty to discuss too much on the production side of things just yet, I can confirm that Whittington Manor is in the hands of production companies and one of them being the BBC. Whittington Manor will be developed into a TV series, not a film. The first series will be made into eight episodes, and will cover the book in its entirety.”