Writer Steven Knight to tackle Charles Dickens novels for TV
BBC One has announced that Peaky Blinders and Taboo writer Steven Knight will pen a series of adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic novels for the UK network. Knight will use his trademark style to create a boxset of Dickens’ most iconic novels in the next few years, with A Christmas Carol lined up as the first to be adapted.
Commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London in association with Tom Hardy’s Hardy Son and Baker.
In A Christmas Carol, Ebenzer Scrooge (the miserly cold-hearted boss) is visited by four ghosts from the past, present and the future on a freezing Christmas Eve. He must face up to how his self-interested, penny pinching behaviour has impacted his own life and those around him, leaving him in a paranoid bubble of fear. Is it too late for him to save the spirit of Christmas, and himself?
“Any question about narrative storytelling is answered by Dickens,” says Knight. “To have the chance to revisit the text and interpret in a new way is the greatest privilege. We need luck and wisdom to do this justice.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says, “Steven’s unique ability to reimagine the past and to turn it in to must see drama make him the perfect writer to reimagine Dickens’ most famous works for a new generation. And in ‘A Christmas Carol,’ that most familiar of Dickens’ stories, he has found the perfect place to start.”
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says, “It’s incredibly exciting to have a genius like Steven Knight embark on a series of Dickens adaptations. What can I say? Be prepared to be blown away by his wholly original and visionary take on some of Britain’s best loved classics.”
“It’s terrific to be continuing the creative partnership of Scott Free London with Tom and Steve that started with ‘Taboo’ and continues with this exciting and ambitious anthology of British classics,” said Ridley Scott.
Kate Crowe, Head of TV, Scott Free London, says, “’A Christmas Carol’ explores miserliness, isolation and selfishness against generosity, charity and open-heartedness; a clash of ideologies that is as significant today as it ever has been.”
“It’s extremely exciting to have the opportunity to team up with Ridley Scott, Steven Knight and our partners at the BBC with this rare and wonderful opportunity to revisit and interpret Dickens’ classic works,” said Tom Hardy. “‘A Christmas Carol’ is a fabulous magical piece of theatre and an embarrassment of riches for our creative team – from character all the way through to design. Here’s to having a lot of intricate and wonderful fun. We feel very lucky.”
A Christmas Carol is a drama in three one-hour installments for Christmas 2019. It will be produced by Scott Free London in association with Hardy Son and Baker for BBC One. It will be executive produced by Steven Knight, Ridley Scott, Tom Hardy, Kate Crowe and Dean Baker, alongside Piers Wenger for the BBC.
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