Because of the always-urgent need for presentism by way of diverse casting, the forthcoming Tom Jones miniseries (PBS, 4.30) is going with a beautiful woman of color as Sophia, the main romantic interest of Solly McLeod‘s titular lead character. And that’s fine because Sophie Wilde is drop-dead dishy + well spoken.

In Tony Richardson’s same-titled 1963 farce, which closely followed Henry Fielding‘s 1749 novel, Wilde’s character was called Sophie Western and played by Susannah York. The blonde and beautiful Sophie was the daughter of Squire Western (Hugh Griffith) and the niece of the elderly Miss Western (Edith Evans).

In the new miniseries Alun Armstrong plays Squire Western, and Shirley Henderson plays Aunt Western.

Dont ask me to explain anything — I just work here.

The other “off” aspect is McLeod’s way-too-short hair. Men of the mid 18th Century wore their hair long or certainly longish as a rule.