The Luminaries Novel Being Adapted for BBC Two


LONDON: BBC Two has commissioned Working Title Television to produce The Luminaries, based on the Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name.

Novelist Eleanor Catton will pen the six-part drama. A 19th-century tale of adventure and mystery, set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush, The Luminaries tells a story of love, murder and revenge, spotlighting men and women who traveled across the world to make their fortunes.

Catton said: “I feel absurdly lucky to be working with both the BBC and Working Title, whose work I have loved and learned from all my life. Learning to write for television has been a bit like learning a new musical instrument: the melody is more or less the same, but absolutely everything else is different. I’m having enormous fun, learning every day, and just so excited to see the world of the novel created in the flesh.”

Andrew Woodhead, the managing director of Working Title Television, said: “I was spellbound when I first read Ellie’s novel, so it’s a privilege to be making the television adaption with her for the BBC. The Luminaries is an incredible story, which will translate beautifully on screen; all of human life is here, in all its darkness and its light, set against this stunning New Zealand backdrop.”

Patrick Holland, BBC Two’s channel editor, said: “The Luminaries is one of the finest novels of recent years and Eleanor Catton’s own adaptation of her work is just as scintillating. It’s a work of startling originality told by a brilliant talent. I am very excited for our audience that this major new drama is coming to BBC Two.”

Lucy Richer, BBC’s acting controller of drama and executive producer, said: “Eleanor Catton’s is a major new voice for screen and we are proud to be making her first-ever work for TV—an enthralling drama with a revelatory historical setting, in a landscape as unique and dazzling as her characters.”