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BBC Drama Black Narcissus Casts Gemma Arterton and More

The BBC One and FXP series Black Narcissus has cast Gemma Arterton and more. The series comes to us from Bafta Award-winning writer Amanda Coe and director Charlotte Bruus Christensen as well as DNA TV. Black Narcissus is a three-part adaptation of the 1939 classic novel of the same name from author Rumer Godden.

The cast includes Arterton (The King’s Man) as Sister Clodagh, Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle) as Mr. Dean, Aisling Franciosi (I Know This Much Is True) as Sister Ruth, Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones) as Mother Dorothea, Jim Broadbent (Paddington 2) as Father Roberts, Gina McKee (Catherine the Great) as Sister Adela, Rosie Cavaliero (Prey) as Sister Briony, Patsy Ferran (Tom and Jerry) as Sister Blanche, Karen Bryson (MotherFatherSon) as Sister Philippa and newcomer Dipika Kunwar as Kanchi.

Amazon describes the novel as follows: “Under the guidance of Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of their order, five European Sisters of the Servants of Mary leave their monastery in Darjeeling, India, and make their way to remote Mopu in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. There, in the opulent, abandoned palace where an Indian general housed his harem, the holy sisters hope to establish a school and a health clinic. Their aim is to help combat superstition, ignorance, and disease among the mistrusting natives in the village below, and to silence the doubts of their royal benefactor’s agent, the hard-drinking and somewhat disreputable Mr. Dean.

“But all too soon, the isolation, the ghosts and lurid history, and the literally breathtaking beauty of this high, lonely place in the Asian mountains begin to take a serious toll on Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns. And their burdens may prove too heavy to bear, exposing a vulnerable humanity that threatens to undermine the best intentions of the purest hearts.”

This will be the directorial debut for Bruus Christensen, who has been Director of Photography on films like The Girl on the Train and A Quiet Place.

Writer Amanda Coe said, “I’m thrilled to be adapting Black Narcissus for BBC One. It’s a truly extraordinary love story, as well as a brilliantly unsettling piece of 20th century gothic about the power of a place to get under your skin and the dangers of refusing to learn from history.”

The series will be produced for BBC One by DNA TV and FX Productions. It will be executive produced by Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich and Amanda Coe, as well as Lucy Richer. Filming will begin in October in Jomsom, Nepal and Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom.

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