Paramount+ Orders U.K. Thriller 'The Doll Factory'

The Doll Factory Novel Cover Art

Paramount+, the streamer with the most extensive growing slate of U.K. originals outside of Netflix's already established U.K. brand, has added another title to the lineup. The Doll Factory is an adaptation of the bestselling debut novel of the same name by Elizabeth Macneal. The story is a Victorian-era set dark thriller centered around a doll painter, Iris, and her twin sister, Rose, and the obsession that arises when one tries to break free from the other.

The planned six-part limited series comes from indie producer Buccaneer Media, who British fans will know from such other series as Marcella and Whistable Pearl. This is the production studio's second series to be put into production for Paramount +; the first commission, The Burning Girls, was announced in April 2022. That, too, is a thriller mystery series, though one centered in the present-day around a vicar uncovering a town's hidden secrets.

Macneal praised the scripts she's seen so far, from first-time screenwriter Charley Miles.   "It is the most surreal and wonderful thing to have my novel turned into a TV series," said Elizabeth Macneal. "When I wrote the book, I felt I knew each character intimately – and what a treat it will be to see them fully brought to life, from Iris's fire and zest to be a painter to the taxidermist Silas's hunger to have his name recognized."   



Here's the series synopsis:

Iris paints dolls for a living alongside her twin sister, Rose, and dreams of becoming an artist and by night secretly paints herself naked. Silas is a taxidermist who owns a shop filled with his creations. He dreams of one day finding an item so unique he will be catapulted to fame. Louis is a painter and member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, searching for his next muse. When Iris meets Silas, and then Louis, she is offered an opportunity to escape and start a new life. To do so, she must abandon her sister, sacrifice her reputation, and launch herself into the unknown. But as Iris’ world expands, a story of dark obsession begins to unfold. 

The series has just been commissioned, so there's no cast attached yet. Neither   The Doll Factory nor The Burning Girls have release dates yet but are not expected until at least mid-2023, if not later.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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