ITV Orders Four-Part Miniseries ‘Tutankhamun’ From ITV Studios

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ITV LogoITV has given the green-light to Tutankhamun, a four-part “event mini-series” from sister company ITV Studios which tells the story of archaeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun in the 1920s.

Tutankhamun opens in 1905 when Carter, in his early-20s, is fervently leading an expedition. He has an easy manner with the Egyptian men who work alongside him, but when tempers fray Carter is hot-headed and puts the dig and his career in jeopardy. With his license to dig revoked, Carter spends years ostracised, dishevelled and living rough. A chance meeting with a British aristocrat brings a change of fortunes. Lord Carnarvon keeps faith with Carter and continues to back him when no one else will.  After years of searching for the tomb, Carter and Carnarvon successfully discover the last resting place of the boy-king in 1921 against all odds and at great personal expense.

“Tutankhamun is a story of epic proportions,” said ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November, who commissioned the series alongside Controller of Drama Victoria Fea. “Against the backdrop of World War One, conflict, murder, corruption, romance and the unlikeliest of friendships, Tutankhamun sees Howard Carter’s determination pay off in spectacular style when he discovers one of the greatest archaeological treasures of the modern world”.

The four-part event series is being penned by Jekyll & Hyde and The Bletchley Circle scribe Guy Burt and is set up at ITV Studios. The Body Farm’s Simon Lewis is serving as the series producer, while Hannibal Rising Peter Webber is attached to direct. The executive producers are Francis Hopkinson and Catherine Oldfield. Casting for the main roles is currently underway, with production set to commence in South Africa during the winter of 2015 and early part of 2016. The series is expected to air on ITV in 2016. ITV Studios Global Entertainment is handling global sales.

“This is a fascinating and compelling story with real historical significance”, said Tutankhamun executive producer Catherine Oldfield. “It’s based on true events and reveals how Carter desperately tries to persuade his patron (Carnarvon) to continue to bankroll the excavation. Ultimately it’s the story of what happens when you stake everything on one last roll of the dice.”

  • WilliamCross1

    Great News! A wonderful opportunity to deliver a compelling drama but also as we are getting close to the centenary ( in 2022) of the discovery of tomb of the boy King, Tutankhamun, an ideal time to tell a tale that offers an account of the story that now best serves historical integrity. I also dearly hope the script accurately reflects the Tutankhuman-Carter- Carnarvon chronology, since none of the previous films ( or many books) have got anywhere near to the truth. As the biographer of Almina, 5th Countess of Carnarvon and a book on the childhood and youth of George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon ( who was a hugely self centred creature) I would love to see the playing out of Almina’s role in the quest and her part in the aftermath of Carnarvon’s death ( she has always been sidelined in past retrospectives ). Not least it was ‘ Lady Almina’ who coaxed her godfather the super rich Baron Alfred de Rothschild to stump up the funding over many years to keep Carnarvon out of her hair. It was also Almina who brought the story to a climax ( again never properly told ) of her precise actions as Lord Carnavon lay dying in a Cairo hotel and the whole world awaited the outcome of his battle over a mysterious illness.
    William Cross, FSA Scot. South Wales, UK.