Adding even more potential brilliance to the TV drama outlook for 2017, BBC 2 has confirmed that is will be adapting Eleanor Catton’s critically acclaimed novel, The Luminaries. The six-part mini-series will see the Booker Prize-winning book taking shape on the small screen, bringing with it the 19th century adventure and mystery that made it such a hit when it was published back in 2013.
While an official air date hasn’t been announced by the BBC as of yet, we do know that filming will begin in 2017 on-location in New Zealand, so you shouldn’t expect the drama to arrive any time soon. Instead, it’s likely to arrive on BBC 2 in the latter half of 2017, with winter being a distinct possibility; possibly in the run-up to the Christmas period with such a significant production.
For anyone who hasn’t read the book as of yet, the story is set in the mid-1800s as the antipodean gold rush was in it’s prime. It follows Anna Wetherell, who sets out from Great Britain for a new life in the wilds of New Zealand in the 19th Century only to find adventure and mystery awaiting her, along with a troubled romance with Emery Staines. With shipwrecks, murder, blackmail, deceit, greed and crushing punishment ahead of them, it’s not an easy path for the two to tread.
A the production is in such an early stage of development, none of the cast has been announced as of yet, but with filming starting in 2017, we should start to get more details shortly. With such a big name title, we’re expecting some big stars to be included in the cast. The BBC’s recent War And Peace adaptation was underpinned by a glittering cast list, so hopefully we’ll see something similarly impressive for The Luminaries.
The production is being written by Eleanor Catton herself, who was just 28-years-old when she picked up the Booker Prize award for the novel, making her the youngest author to have ever won the award. The book was just her second published title, following up on her debut, The Rehearsal, which featured in the Guardian First Book Award shortlist, the Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist, and the Orange Prize for Fiction longlist.
The BBC 2 mini-series is being put together by Working Title Television, which was responsible for the BAFTA-winning adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong starring Eddie Redmayne. It will be executive produced by Eleanor Catton, Andrew Woodhead, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title Television, and Lucy Richer for the BBC.