EXCLUSIVE: BBC Two’s The Thirteenth Tale has added another cast member. A production source tells me that Game of Thrones alum Robert Pugh has been cast in the 90 minute drama, which also counts Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave (Political Animals) and Gordon Winter (Friday Night Dinner) amongst its main cast. Pugh, who is currently filming a role in BBC One’s one-off drama from Jimmy McGovern titled Common, has an extensive list of credits which includes Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Silent Witness and The Shadow Line. Production on The Thirteenth Tale is slated to commence in late June/early July.
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.
The Thirteenth Tale was co-commissioned by the BBC’s Controller of Drama Ben Stephenson and BBC Two topper Janice Hadlow back in March and is set to be a key part of the channel’s Christmas line up. Also on tap for Christmas at the BBC is an adaptation of the PD James novel Death Comes To Pemberley, produced by Origin Pictures and directed by Dan Percival, for BBC One; and a Christmas special for the controversial comedy series Citizen Khan, again for BBC One.