“Four small children is a recipe for heartache, headache and indigestion.” So says Angela Lansbury’s Aunt March at the opening of the first trailer for Little Women, the TV adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel from Masterpiece, BBC One and Playground.

Set against the backdrop of a country divided, the story follows the four March sisters: Jo, played by newcomer Maya Hawke, Meg, played by Willa Fitzgerald, Beth, played by Annes Elwy and Amy, played by Kathryn Newton, on their journey from childhood to adulthood. With the help of their mother Marmee (Emily Watson), while their father is away at war, and accompanied by the charming boy next door Laurie Laurence (Jonah Hauer-King), the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman: from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss and marriage. Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Churchill’s Secret) portrays Mr. Laurence.

Heidi Thomas (Cranford, Call the Midwife) penned the TV adaptation and  Vanessa Caswill (Thirteen) directs.

Little Women is produced by Playground (Wolf Hall, Howards End) for BBC One. The series is a co-production with Masterpiece on PBS. The producer is Susie Liggat. Executive producers are Colin Callender and Sophie Gardiner for Playground, Heidi Thomas, Lucy Richer for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece.

Little Women premieres on Masterpiece on PBS on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018.