Viewers have shared a wave of appreciation and nostalgia following the finale of Heidi Thomas’ television adaptation of Little Women.
The three-part remake of Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 novel, starring Apple Tree Yard star Emily Watson as admirable matriarch Marmee and a debut performance from Maya Hawke as fan favourite feminist Jo March, came to an end on BBC One on Thursday night.
Staying true to the original story, the final episode saw the heartbreaking death of Beth (Annes Elwy), Jo’s union with Professor Bhaer (Mark Stanley) and Amy’s marriage to lovable neighbour Laurie (Jonah Hauer-King).
Coming more than 23 years after the Oscar-nominated 1994 film with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon, many told how revisiting the tale had an unexpectedly emotional impact.
One emotional viewer commented over Twitter: “#LittleWomen cried like I did 60 years ago, for them and the girl I was.”
Another added: “Well, I absolutely loved #LittleWomen. Tears streaming down my face for the last half an hour. Bravo @BBC. So enjoyable.”
One posted: “What a beautiful, heart wrenching and bittersweet adaptation. Another stunning BBC period drama #LittleWomen.”
“Little Women was a lovely adaptation – I loved it,” commented one viewer. “Now need to have a re-read of the books.”
Another relieved fan summarised: “#LittleWomen Scared to see what would happen to much loved book of my childhood. No need to worry. Full of heart. Emily Watson superb.”
However, some were less impressed with the re-working, with one person commenting: “Last episode of Little Women tonight. It was so rushed. I feel the entire thing was rushed and could have done with at least an ep more.”
Commenting on the female-led production – directed by Vanessa Caswill with producers Sophie Gardiner and Susie Ligatt – ahead of its release, Thomas said of the story: “It’s a coming-of-age novel and it makes for a really universal journey.”