Eleanor Catton has signed on to adapt her Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries as a television series for BBC Two, who have picked up the project with a six episode straight-to-series order, TVWise has learned.
The drama series is set to be officially announced by BBC Two Channel Editor Patrick Holland during his Meet The Controller session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival on Friday.
“Eleanor Catton’s is a major new voice for screen and we are proud to be making her first ever work for TV – an enthralling drama with a revelatory historical setting, in a landscape as unique and dazzling as her characters”, said Lucy Richer, the BBC’s Acting Controller of Drama Commissioning.
The Luminaries tells the story of defiant young adventurer Anna Wetherell, who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life. There she meets the radiant Emery Staines, an encounter that triggers a strange kind of magic that neither can explain. As they fall in love, driven together and apart by fateful coincidence, these star-crossed lovers begin to wonder: do we make our fortunes, or do our fortunes make us?
Working Title Television, the NBCUniversal owned indie behind fellow BBC Two drama London Spy from Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith, will produce The Luminaries for the BBC. It was commissioned by the BBC’s Acting Controller of Drama Commissioning Lucy Richer and BBC Two Channel Editor Patrick Holland. Lucy Richer, Eleanor Catton, Andrew Woodhead, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will serve as the executive producers. Production is set to commence in 2017 in and around New Zealand.
“I feel absurdly lucky to be working with both the BBC and Working Title, whose work I have loved and learned from all my life”, Eleanor Catton said in a statement released today. “Learning to write for television has been a bit like learning a new musical instrument: the melody is more or less the same, but absolutely everything else is different. I’m having enormous fun, learning every day, and just so excited to see the world of the novel created in the flesh.”