Gemma Arterton Set As Lead In BBC One’s ‘Black Narcissus’

Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man, The Escape) has been set as the lead in Black Narcissus, BBC One’s three-part adaptation of Rumer Godden’s novel of the same name that hails from DNA TV and FX Productions.

Black Narcissus follows Sister Clodagh (Arterton) and the nuns of St Faiths, who travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order in the remote palace of Mopu. In the unfettered sensuality of the so-called House of Women, Sister Clodagh finds herself increasingly attracted to the handsome and damaged land agent, Mr Dean.

But as the repressed memories of Clodagh’s past become entangled with the tragic history of Princess Srimati, history seems doomed to repeat itself. Are there really ghosts here in the Himalayas, or are the nuns just succumbing to long-repressed primal desires? And which of them is prepared to die – or kill – for love?

Rounding out the cast is Alessandro Nivola (Chimerica) as Mr Dean; Aisling Franciosi (The Fall) as Sister Ruth; Dame Diana Rigg (Game Of Thrones) as Mother Dorothea; Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady) as Father Roberts; Gina McKee (Catherine The Great) as Sister Adela; Rosie Cavaliero (Unforgotten) as Sister Briony; Patsy Ferran (Tom And Jerry) as Sister Blanche; Karen Bryson (MotherFatherSon) as Sister Philippa and Dipika Kunwar as Kanchi.

The three-part adaptation was penned by The Trial Of Christine Keeler and Apple Tree Yard scribe Amanda Coe and is being directed by Charlotte Bruus Christensen. Black Narcissus was commissioned for BBC One back in 2017 by the BBC’s Controller of Drama Piers Wenger and the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore. The executive producers are Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich and Amanda Coe for DNA TV and FX Productions and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Filming gets underway in October in in Jomsom, Nepal and Pinewood Studios, UK.