Tom Hollander (Rev.), Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It) and Ian McShane (Deadwood) have been set as the leads in Doctor Thorne, ITV’s new there-part drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and independent production company Hat Trick Productions.
Based on the novel by Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne tells the story of Dr Thomas Thorne (Tom Hollander), who lives in the village of Greshamsbury in Barsetshire, with his beautiful niece, Mary, a girl blessed with every gift except money. Mary Thorne has grown up alongside the Gresham sisters and their handsome brother Frank – whose home is the great house and estate at Greshamsbury Park.
When Lady Arabella Gresham (Rebecca Front) discovers that her son Frank has fallen in love with Dr Thorne’s penniless niece she is horrified. The family fortune is all but gone and they are only being kept afloat by very favourable loans that Dr Thorne has secured from railway millionaire Sir Roger Scatcherd (McShane). Lady Arabella believes it is her son’s duty to make a rich marriage to save the family estate and launches a campaign to secure her son an heiress for a bride.
The cast of the three-parter also includes Alison Brie (Mad Men), Richard McCabe (Indian Summers), Phoebe Nicholls (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), Gwyneth Keyworth (Misfits), Kate O’Flynn (Ordinary Lies), Edward Franklin (Doctors), Cressida Bonas (Tulip Fever), Danny Kirrane (Critical), Janine Duvitski (This is Jinsy), Tom Bell (Humans), Neil Barlow, Harry Richardson and newcomers Stefanie Martini and Harry Richardson.
Doctor Thorne was adapted for television by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who has described the tome as one of his favourite novels. Hat Trick Productions are with Mark Redhead, Julian Fellowes Chris Kelly and Ted Childs serving as executive producers. Helen Gregory is the producer, while Niall McCormick is attached to direct. Production on the series is set to commence this month for a 2016 premiere.
Additionally, Harvey Weinstein’s The Wenstein Company has come on-board the project and acquired North American rights to the series after striking a deal with Hat Trick International. Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein will serve as executive producers on Doctor Thorne for TWC. “With a script as extremely witty, brilliant, and appealing as this one is, I’m certain Doctor Thorne will replicate the passionate fan base and ratings power of Downton Abbey”, said Harvey Weinstein.