Steven Knight, the writer of hit dramas Peaky Blinders and Taboo, is to adapt a series of Charles Dickens novels for the BBC starting with A Christmas Carol.
The new three-part version of the Victorian writer’s seasonal classic will air in two years’ time and will be the first in a series of adaptations of his works.
Charting the story of skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge and his awakening to the joys of life and generosity through a series of four ghostly visitations over one night, the new version of A Christmas Carol will air in Christmas 2019 on BBC1, the Corporation has confirmed. Casting will be announced in due course.
The BBC was unable to disclose how many of Dickens’ 15 full-length novels plus numerous short stories Knight plans to adapt, but it is clear that it expects many more adaptations to follow.
Knight said of the new project: “Any question about narrative storytelling is answered by Dickens. To have the chance to revisit the text and interpret in a new way is the greatest privilege. We need luck and wisdom to do this justice.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added: “Steven’s unique ability to reimagine the past and to turn it in to must see drama make him the perfect writer to reinvent Dickens’ most famous works for a new generation. And in A Christmas Carol, that most familiar of Dickens’ stories, he has found the perfect place to start.”
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to have a genius like Steven Knight embark on a series of Dickens adaptations. What can I say? Be prepared to be blown away by his wholly original and visionary take on some of Britain’s best loved classics.”
A Christmas Carol will be produced by the makers of Taboo – Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free in association with Tom Hardy’s outfit, Hardy Son & Baker.
Ridley Scott said: “It’s terrific to be continuing the creative partnership of Scott Free London with Tom and Steve that started with Taboo and continues with this exciting and ambitious anthology of British classics.”
Tom Hardy added: “It’s extremely exciting to have the opportunity to team up with Ridley Scott, Steven Knight and our partners at the BBC with this rare and wonderful opportunity to revisit and interpret Dickens’ classic works. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a fabulous magical piece of theatre and an embarrassment of riches for our creative team – from character all the way through to design. Here’s to having a lot of intricate and wonderful fun. We feel very lucky.”