Christopher Eccleston is set to star alongside Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful) in a new Radio 4 adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth.


The 1963 Walter Tevis novel went on to inspire the acclaimed 1976 movie which starred David Bowie. More recently, it was also the basis of Prime Video's 2022 series of the same name which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bill Nighy and Naomie Harris.

Well now it's getting the audio treatment and will be released this May. Treadaway will voice the role of the alien (known as Thomas Newton) who arrives in Kentucky with a very specific mission.

He has "five years to save the handful of survivors of his dying planet, and to save humanity from itself", according to the official synopsis.

Harry Treadaway.
Harry Treadaway. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

It continues: "His plan is to use his race's advanced technology to make millions, and then build a spaceship to bring the last of his people to live on Earth.

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"But Newton begins to doubt his purpose, and finds himself unable to cope with the emotional weight of being human. He finds solace with two fellow outsiders – cheery functioning alcoholic Betty-Jo, who falls quietly in love with him, and widowed scientist Nathan Bryce, who tracks him down after recognising his tech as impossible. Little do they realise that the Government are watching."

Eccleston will star as Nathan Bryce, while Laura Aikman – who has more recently starred in ITV's Archie – will star as Betty-Jo. The rest of the cast includes Stuart Milligan, Glen McCready, Ako Mitchell, André Refig, Fiona Sheehan and Alix Dunmore.

The new audio drama has been written by Stephen Keyworth, who is known for his work on Doctors, as well as EastEnders and Casualty.

The 1976 film retains its cult status today so it'll undoubtedly be an interesting listen for any fans of the movie or the original novel. The science fantasy drama was lauded for its surreal imagery, as well as being Bowie's first starring film role.

Bowie starred as Thomas Newton in the film, which was directed by Nicolas Roeg and adapted by Paul Mayersberg.

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While Eccleston is best known for his role as the Ninth Doctor in Doctor Who, he has most recently been seen on our screens in True Detective: Night Country and is also set to cross over into the documentary space in Sky History's The Guilty Innocent.

The new series sees Eccleston dig deep into the evidence in the trials of George Davis and James Hanratty, examining how these two cases of controversial convictions captured public attention at the time.

The Man Who Fell to Earth will broadcast on Radio 4 on Sunday 12th May at 3pm.


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