Sherlock’s Lara Pulver and The Missing’s David Morrissey star in new BBC2 drama The City And The City

China Miéville's genre-bending murder mystery is set to be adapted for TV

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Remember professional dominatrix Irene Adler? The actress Lara Pulver is now going for something a little different as she joins the cast of new BBC2 drama The City And The City

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Also on board is The Missing’s David Morrissey, who will star as her husband Inspector Tyador Borlú in this adaptation of China Miéville’s mind-bending 2009 fantasy novel.

The four-part thriller, adapted for the small screen by Tony Grisoni, begins when the disfigured body of a foreign student is discovered in the streets of Besźel, a fictional city in Eastern Europe. But when Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad takes on the case, he discovers surprising evidence linking the dead girl to another city, Ul Qoma. 

Pulver, who also starred as Claudine in True Blood, will play Borlú’s wife Katrynia. 

Mandeep Dhillon stars as Constable Corwi of the Besźel Policzai, while Deutschland 83’s Maria Schrader will play as Senior Detective Dhatt of the Ul Qoma Militsya.

Borlú’s superior Commissar Gadlem is played by Mr Selfridge actor Ron Cook, while hard-right nationalist politician Major Syedr is portrayed by Humans star Danny Webb. Christian Camargo has been cast as American academic Doctor Bowden.

Miéville said, “It’s been fascinating and moving to witness the translation from fiction to script, and to work with Tony [Grisoni] and Tom [Shankland, the director] and everyone on this production.

“What they’re making feels both familiar, sending me right back to the book, and yet very much their own, something I’m eager to discover. I’m extremely impatient for it!”

The City And The City will be filmed in Manchester and Liverpool.

Executive producer Preethi Mavahalli said, “Set in divided cities where communities live cheek by jowl, choosing what they see, and ‘unsee’, this is a story that explores the way we live together today.

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“The City And The City is a noir thriller with a fantastical twist which will quite literally break boundaries with its unique take on the murder mystery.”