Christopher Eccleston joins the cast of HBO pilot The Leftovers

The former Doctor Who star will join Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd and Amanda Warren in an adaptation of the best-selling novel from Star Trek Into Darkness writer Damon Lindelof

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Christopher Eccleston joins the cast of HBO pilot The Leftovers
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Susanna Lazarus

Christopher Eccleston has joined the cast of HBO pilot The Leftovers. The new drama – based on Tom Perrotta's 2011 novel of the same name – will see the former Doctor Who actor unite with Jennifer Aniston's fiancé Justin Theroux, Ann Dowd (Compliance), Tony-nominated Carrie Coon and Amanda Warren (The Closer).

Eccleston will play Matt Jamison, a reverend-turned-editor self-publishing his own tabloid in a community that has undergone the Rapture – the ascension to heaven – but not quite as expected. While those deemed worthy have disappeared, the residents of Mapleton who have been left behind are struggling to deal with the remnants of their lives. 

Theroux has signed on to appear as the novel's protagonist Kevin Garvey – a police chief and father of two who is struggling to maintain a semblance of normality in a world that is losing its grip on what "normal" is. Coon – who was nominated at last night's Tonys ceremony for her role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – will play Nora Hurst, a wife and mother who suddenly finds that she is neither and strikes up a friendship with Kevin.

Dowd will portray Patti Levin – the leader of homegrown cult Guilty Remnant – and Warren will take on the part of Lucy Warburton, the town's "take-no-prisoners" mayor. The adaptation will be co-written and executive produced by Perrotta and Damon Lindelof (Star Trek Into Darkness, Prometheus), with the pilot directed by Peter Berg (Battleship, Friday Night Lights). 

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