Viewers confused by The City and The City opening episode

But those who had read the book were full of praise for the adaptation

The City and the City

The opening episode of sci-fi noir The City and The City has left a lot of viewers in a state of confusion.

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After its BBC2 debut, many of those who hadn’t read the China Miéville book that the series is based on found the plot hard to follow.

The premise, to be fair, is pretty bewildering. The City and The City, starring David Morrissey and Mandeep Dhillon, is set in two fictional European city-states. Beszel and Ul Qoma overlap, but everybody in each city must completely ignore the other.

If they don’t, a shadowy organisation called Breach will go after them.

But one day, the body of an American student turns up. Her name is Mahalia Geary and her murder has huge implications for both cities and for the man who investigates the killing: Inspector Tyador Borlu.

Viewers were pretty baffled by the whole thing…

Morrissey himself said he wasn’t sure how easy it would be to adapt for television. He told RadioTimes.com: “I did start thinking, how the hell are they going to do this?

“And then I met [the director] Tom Shankland, who I’m a huge fan of, and he had a vision, and you just jump in. Any job is a leap of faith.”

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But many viewers who had read the book were full of praise for the debut episode…