BBC Four has ordered Martin’s Close, a one-off half-hour adaptation of M.R. James ghost story of the same name for their Christmas schedule. Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, The Thick Of It) is attached to star.
Martin’s Close is set in 1684 and follows John Martin, who is on trial for his life. Facing him, the infamous ‘hanging Judge’, George Jeffreys. But this is not a cut and dried murder case. Because the innocent girl Martin is accused of killing has been seen after her death.
Capaldi plays Dolben. Rounding out the cast is Wilf Scolding (Game of Thrones) as John Martin, Simon Williams (The Archers) as Stanton, Sara Crowe (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Sarah, James Holmes (Miranda) as Snell, Fisayo Akinade (A Very English Scandal) as William, and Elliot Levey (Murder On The Orient Express) as Judge George Jeffreys.
Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), who penned BBC Four’s previous M.R. James adaptation The Tractate Middoth back in 2013, wrote the script for Martin’s Close. Can Do Productions and Adorable Media are producing, with Isibeal Ballance serving as the producer. In addition to penning the script, Gatiss is also the director. Ben Irving is executive producer for the BBC.
Martin’s Close is the latest in a long-line of ghost stories on the BBC over the festive period, following such titled as the aforementioned The Tractate Middoth and last year’s The Dead Room. “I’m delighted to welcome another of Mark Gatiss’ ghostly escapades to BBC Four after the success of last year’s The Dead Room”, added BBC Four Channel Editor Cassian Harrison. “With a stellar cast and a plot to send a shiver down the most resolute of spines, this is a guaranteed treat for the winter nights.”