Sir Arthur Conan Doyle drama adds Arsher Ali, Emma Fielding
Further casting has been announced to join Martin Clunes in ITV’s new three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel, Arthur & George, which is based on an intriguing series of true events in the life of novelist and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who famously created the detective Sherlock Holmes.
Martin is joined by Arsher Ali (The Guilty, Silent Witness) as George Edalji a hard-working solicitor and the son of Hampshire’s Reverend Shapurji Edalji played by Art Malik (Upstairs Downstairs, Holby City). Emma Fielding (Silk, DCI Banks) as his mother Charlotte Edalji; Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey, Trying Again) as Sir Arthur’s trusted manservant Alfred ‘Woodie’ Wood; Hattie Morahan (The Bletchley Circle, Sense and Sensibility) as Jean Leckie – a much younger woman with whom Conan Doyle enjoyed a ‘platonic’ relationship whilst his wife was alive who eventually became his second wife. Sandra Voe (Vera Drake, The Winter Guest) plays the role of Mam.
Set in 1903 in Staffordshire, Hampshire and London with the backdrop of Conan Doyle’s family home, Undershaw, following the death of his wife, Louisa, Conan Doyle recaptures his zest for life by pursuing and challenging a notorious miscarriage of justice. In the case of George Edalji, who has served seven years in Pentonville Prison for allegedly mutilating animals and sending threatening letters. The offences have become known as The Great Wyrley Rippings.
On learning of George’s plight and glimpsing the headlines concerning the Great Wyrley Rippings, Conan Doyle urges Woodie to arrange a meeting with George, who is released from prison after serving three years of his seven year sentence. Now at 27, George is desperate to clear his name so he can return to his career.
ITV’s Director of Drama, Steve November says: “Arthur & George explores what we think we know about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s life. It’s a fascinating insight into the man who was to become one of the most famous of his age. We’re delighted to be working with Martin and the production team at Buffalo Pictures on such a clever and complex adaptation of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel.”
A Buffalo Pictures production for ITV, Arthur & George is written by Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness, Waking The Dead).
Filming on Arthur & George has commenced (September 2014) in London and Staffordshire.