EXCLUSIVE: BBC Two’s upcoming 90 minute drama The Thirteenth Tale has found another cast member. I’ve learned that Gordon Winter has joined the cast of the one-off, which is set to begin production this June. Winter, whose previous TV credits include The Bill, Real Crime and Friday Night Dinner, has been cast as Aurelius Love, a local villager who befriends lead character Margaret Lea. Winter’s casting comes after TVWise broke the news that Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave had been cast in the drama in a leading role.
Based on the novel of the same name by Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale tells the story of the residents of Angelfield House and follows ageing novelist Vida Winter, who enlists young writer Margaret Lea to finally tell the story of her life – including her mysterious childhood spent in Angelfield House, which burned to the ground when she was a teenager. The project has been described to me as a “chilling ghost story which examines family tragedy.” The adaptation was written by Christopher Hampton, who previously adapted Doris Lessing’s novel Two Mothers and Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. Heyday Films is producing with David Heyman, Norma Heyman and Rosie Alison serving as producers. Inside Men helmer James Kent is attached to direct.
TVWise initially reported back in March that BBC Two topper Janice Hadlow and the BBC’s Controller of Drama Ben Stephenson had commissioned a one-off adaptation of the novel and that there were rumours circulating that The Thirteenth Tale would be a key part of BBC Two’s Christmas line-up. The BBC has yet to formally announce or confirm any of this, but I’ve now confirmed with my sources that this drama will be part of the BBC’s Christmas schedule (as will BBC One’s recently announce drama serial Death Comes To Pemberley). I’m waiting to hear on further casting and will update when I hear more.