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Tom Hollander, Rebecca Front for ITV drama


Tom Hollander (Rev, A Poet In New York), Rebecca Front (Humans, The Thick Of It) and Ian McShane (Ray Donovan, Pirates of the Caribbean) are among the cast announced for ITV’s adaptation of Anthony Trollope‘s novel, Doctor Thorne.

Adapted by Academy award winning Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Doctor Thorne is a three-part drama starring Tom Hollander as Dr Thomas Thorne, who lives in the village of Greshamsbury in Barsetshire, with his young niece, Mary (Stefanie Martini), a girl blessed with every gift except money.

Mary Thorne has grown up alongside the Gresham family, whose house, Greshamsbury Park, and status dominate the county. However Francis Gresham Senior (Richard McCabe) has frittered away the family fortune and now his wife, Lady Arabella Gresham (Front) , their daughters Augusta (Gwyneth Keyworth) and Beatrice (Nell Barlow), and their handsome brother Frank (Harry Richardson) face losing their home.

When the terrifying Lady Arabella Gresham discovers that her darling son, Frank, has fallen in love with Dr Thorne’s penniless niece, she is horrified.  Her husband Gresham is only being kept afloat by very favourable loans that Dr Thorne has secured from a railway millionaire, Sir Roger Scatcherd (McShane). However, Sir Roger is drinking himself into an early grave and the family’s financial future lies with his unreliable son Louis Scatcherd (Edward Franklin).

Lady Arabella believes it is her son’s duty to make a rich marriage to save the family estate and launches a campaign to secure her son an heiress for a bride, aided by her scheming sister in law, the very grand Countess De Courcy (Phoebe Nicholls) and her conniving niece Alexandrina De Courcy (Kate O’Flynn). Their target is wealthy American heiress Miss Martha Dunstable (Alison Brie).

Cressida Bonas (Tulip Fever) is also cast as Mary’s friend and confidante, Patience Oriel, and Danny Kirrane (Critical), appears as Lady Augusta’s wealthy, but ill- mannered fiancé Mr Moffatt. Janine Duvitski (Little Dorrit) is cast as Lady Scatcherd and Tom Bell (Humans) as Lord Porlock.

Writer Julian Fellowes said: “Doctor Thorne is a wonderful example of Trollope’s gift for understanding the tangles we humans get into.  He is sharply observant, critical and merciful in equal measure and, above all, highly entertaining.  With the cast we have assembled, I am confident we can bring all of these qualities to the screen.”

Filming begins on Doctor Thorne in September 2015 and will be produced by Hat Trick Productions, and directed by Niall McCormick (Complicit, The Game).