Pack your bags, Neil Gaiman fans, because we’re about to take another trip to London Below.
Just four years after Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy, David Harewood and Natalie Dormer brought the author’s TV series/novel Neverwhere to the airwaves for a critically-acclaimed audio adaptation, it has been revealed that Radio 4 are working on a follow-up based on one of Gaiman’s short stories set in the same world.
“Actors have been in the studio recording a Neverwhere adventure,” a Radio 4 source confirmed to RadioTimes.com.
“The one-off drama is not a full on sequel but will feature characters from Neverwhere and will air later this year…”
The original cast of Radio 4’s Neverwhere
Called How the Marquis Got His Coat Back (according to this listing for the audio CD and in keeping with the short story’s title), the full-cast dramatisation will follow Neverwhere’s cunning Marquis de Carabas as he seeks out his legendary garment in the magical alternate-London realm of London Below, where the action of the original Neverwhere took place.
The one-off adaptation is set to be directed by Dirk Maggs (centre-left below, who made both the original Neverwhere and the adaptation of Gaiman/Terry Pratchett novel Good Omens in 2014) and will be approximately 45 minutes long, with the airing taking place at some point between now and November 3rd (when the CD of the drama is set to be released).
The cast and production team of the new Neverwhere spin-off
Still, even if there’s quite a wait until it broadcasts there’s already plenty of casting news. In the previous Radio 4 adaptation, the Marquis was played by David Harewood, but in the original TV series that Gaiman co-created with Lenny Henry, Paterson Joseph took the role and – based on this cast picture released by the BBC and Gaiman (you can see Joseph second from left at the back) – it looks like he could be back.
Other new faces (well, voices) include Adrian Lester and Don Warrington, with Bernard Cribbins among the original cast members set to return. As the BBC website reveals that “Not everyone is in this shot – at least one key figure is missing… but we can’t reveal any more just yet!”
Let the speculation begin as to whether that means original Radio 4 actors Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy or Natalie Dormer will be back as their characters – or even that Neverwhere TV series star Peter Capaldi could be tempted out of the TARDIS for a few days as the enigmatic Angel Islington, the part played in the Radio version by Cumberbatch…
Peter Capaldi in the TV series of Neverwhere
“We love Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and we’re thrilled that, later this year, led by the ever-dangerous Marquis de Carabas, we’ll be taking a short trip back to the land of London Below,” the BBC release goes on.
“We’re expecting high adventure and a spine-tingling ride, with a mix of brand new characters and old favourites.”
Hopefully fans can stand the anticipation in the meantime.
How the Marquis Got His Coat Back will air on BBC Radio 4 later this year