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Wilkie Collins’ mystery classic to air over five consecutive afternoons

John Thomson (Cold Feet) and Sarah Hadland (Miranda) are to star in BBC One Daytime’s new adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ mystery adventure classic, The Moonstone.

Described by TS Eliot as “the First and Greatest of English Detective novels”, The Moonstone sees the charismatic adventurer Franklin Blake on the most important quest of his life – to solve the disappearance of the priceless Moonstone and win back Rachel Verinder, his one true love.
Thomson will play the legendary Sergeant Cuff, with Hadland as the pious and unwittingly hilarious Miss Clack.

John Thomson says: “The Moonstone is a classic novel, and this has all the makings of classic TV. I’ve worked on a wonderful variety of projects over the years, but I’ve secretly always wanted to be part of a big BBC One costume drama. The Moonstone is exactly that and I’m incredibly excited to be in it.”

Sarah Hadland adds: “I am SO excited to be playing the fantastically named and appallingly behaved Miss Drusilla Clack. ‘Clack’, as she is sometimes called – to her horror, has to be the most pious of any character I have ever read. She sees herself as a devout Christian and ‘do gooder’, always thinking of others… however she is actually an interfering, manipulative little busybody who has an unholy obsession with Godfrey Ablewhite. Rachel Flowerday and Sasha Hails have written a fabulous script and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this BBC production – bring on the bonnet!”

Further casting includes rising stars of theatre Joshua Silver (Photograph 51, Wolf Hall/Bring up the Bodies) and Terenia Edwards (Hero’s Welcome, Five Finger Exercise) who make their television debuts in the central roles of Franklin Blake and Rachel Verinder – one of literature’s most enduring couples.

Sophie Ward plays Lady Verinder, Stewart Clarke as Godfrey Ablewhite, Leo Wringer as Betteredge, and David Calder as Mr Bruff.

The Moonstone will broadcast over five, forty-five minute episodes over consecutive afternoons, and is made in association with BBC Learning as part of the BBC’s #LoveToRead campaign.

It is adapted for screen by Rachel Flowerday (Father Brown, EastEnders) and Sasha Hails (Versailles, Casualty) and made by King Bert Productions. The series will be directed by Lisa Mulcahy (Red Rock, The Clinic).

Dan McGolpin, Controller of BBC Daytime and Early-Peak, says: “The Moonstone spawned a new genre: the detective novel. Its influence endures to the present day, in books and on television. With the help of BBC Learning we are offering BBC One viewers the chance to see this gripping story play out across five afternoons. I’m thrilled that the production has attracted such a strong cast, a mix of well-known and up and coming actors, all incredibly talented. Our viewers are in for a treat.”

The Moonstone begins filming today (18th July) in Yorkshire, and will air on BBC One Daytime later this year.