The BBC’s seven-part series will adapt the massively popular book of the same name by Susanna Clarke, which stars Bertie Carvell and Eddie Marsan as two nineteenth-century men in an alternate history where magic is widely acknowledged but rarely practiced. The cast also includes Charlotte Riley, Alice Engle, Marco Warren, Samuel West and more.
The official series description goes like this: In 1806, the reclusive and skillful Mr Norrell (Marsan) is thought to be the last remaining practical magician. His displays thrill the nation — in London, he raises the beautiful Lady Pole (Englert) from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. But he is soon challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange (Carvel). While trying to secure his beloved Arabella’s (Riley) hand in marriage, he meets a vagabond, the magician of Threadneedle Street, who tells him he is destined to be a great magician. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very antithesis of Norrell. A dangerous battle ensues between the two great men.
That is actually a really simplistic explanation of the Jonathan Strange plot, but as the book is massive (clocking in around 1,000 pages), it’s probably a decent enough attempt without giving too much away.
Anyway, I loved, loved loved the novel – it’s smart and interesting and really, really fantastically creative and I want this to be a faithful representation of it so badly.
Watch the trailer for yourselves below:
The drama will premiere on BBC One in the UK beginning May 17, and is set to bow in the US on BBC America on June 13.
Anybody else excited for this? Are you fans of the book? We must discuss!