Doctor Who and Being Human writer set to script YA adaptation Noughts and Crosses

Malorie Blackman's 2001 Young Adult novel will go into production later this year

Toby Whithouse

For years we have been waiting and waiting for news of Noughts & Crosses. The BBC commissioned an adaptation of the groundbreaking Malorie Blackman novel in 2016 and we were delighted to finally see it on screen, but since then – nothing.

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Until now.

Being Human creator and Doctor Who writer Toby Whithouse has joined the dystopian Young Adult drama to oversee scripting, Deadline has revealed, with filming set to begin later this year. Hurrah!

Noughts and Crosses will be filmed as a six-part series, with each episode an hour long. UK filmmaker Kibwe Tavares will direct the first three episodes of the drama, and production company Mammoth Screen – known for hits such as Poldark and Victoria – is in discussions to team up with a “sizeable US partner” to make the show.

Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses series, which began with the first novel in 2001, is set in an alternative version of 21st century Britain where the racial dynamics are turn on their head. Persephone (“Sephy”) is a “cross”, a member of the black ruling class and the daughter of a prominent politician. By contrast, her friend Callum is a white-skinned “nought” and has suffered a life of racial discrimination and segregation.

Malorie Blackman
Malorie Blackman (Getty)

Noughts and Crosses tells the story of forbidden love between a cross and a nought in a world of prejudice.

Youngers writer Levi David Addai and Life on Mars co-creator Matthew Graham were originally announced as screenwriters for the project, but they have since moved on.

Instead, Whithouse will oversee the script-writing process, with the help of Riviera’s Lydia Adetunji and Five By Five’s Nathaniel Price.

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Their task is to adapt the first novel in the series to the small screen – and fans will be eagerly waiting to see what they can do.