The BBC Gets Strange... And Norrell


This past March, when the BBC announced their summer line up, one item attracted a lot of attention in the right circles: an adaptation of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, a weighty tome concerning magicians in early 1800's Britain that, in hardcover, special care should be made that it doesn't fall on any household pets. The sheer volume of material could only be adapted as a series, and at the time I wondered if they intended to adapt the entire novel in the one series, and if so, how much they would have to omit to do so. While their intentions in that regard are as of yet unknown, the casting process has begun, and they've started in the right place: at the cover.

Playing the elder, set-in-his-ways master magician Gilbert Norrell will be Eddie Marsan, most recently seen in Edgar Wright's The World's End. Marsan is considerably younger than the literary Norrell, but has the appropriate amount of stern gravitas to make the role his own. And playing his apprentice, Jonathan Strange, will be Bertie Carvel, most recently seen as Bamatabois in Les Misérables (and made an appearence in a Tenth Doctor episode of Doctor Who) whose casting I have no complaints about at all. He is exactly as I imagined Strange to be when I read the book.

The BBC's Strange and Norrell stands to be the event of next year, combining the Beeb's greatest strength (period drama) with the current in high television fashion (mystical fantasy). I expect big things from this series. And they appear to be getting off on the right foot.

Via The Mary Sue.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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