Vanity Fair was the BBC’s first colour serial, made in 1967 with Susan Hampshire and Roy Marsden, both looking impossibly young, as Becky Sharp and George Osborne.
Thackaray’s novel is set in the Napoleonic Wars and cries out for colour and life, both of which this five parter delivers. From the opening with a puppet show to lovely performances, largely from actors now forgotten, this adaptation is very good and wears its age well.
As Becky, Susan Hampshire isn’t as obviously scheming as Eve Matheson was twenty years later, but she radiates charm with a knowing smile. It is an interpretation of the character which works well.