BBC drama Elizabeth is Missing will begin on Sunday 8th December at 9pm, screenwriter Andrea Gibb has revealed.
The drama began filming in summer 2019 after quite a few years in development:
We’re reading my Elizabeth Is Missing script today. The shoot starts proper next week. I started work on this adaptation in 2013. Six years ago. And here we are. I can’t quite believe it’s really happening. I’m hugely grateful to everyone who’s supported me along the way.
Elizabeth is Missing is adapted from Emma Healey’s bestselling 2014 novel and stars Glenda Jackson as Maud – a woman struggling with dementia who must attempt to piece together what has happened to her best friend Elizabeth.
After Elizabeth goes missing, Maud is convinced that something terrible has occurred, and she sets out to solve the mystery, all the while fighting against time as her dementia worsens. As Maud becomes more forgetful, the distinctions between past and present begin to blur — and she begins to wonder whether the mystery is connected to the decades-old unsolved disappearance of her own sister, Sukey…
This 90-minute TV film has been scripted by Andrea Gibb, whose previous work includes Swallows and Amazons and several episodes of Call the Midwife.
Gibb said: “I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to adapt this beautiful story. Emma has created an extraordinary heroine in Maud – she’s funny, tenacious, loyal – while also giving us a moving portrait of dementia from the inside out.”
The BBC’s Piers Wenger added: “Part detective story, part portrait of a fracturing mind, Andrea Gibb’s witty, sensitive adaptation of Emma Healey’s novel brings this first-hand account of experiencing dementia to life.”
Elizabeth is Missing, which is Healy’s debut novel, hit the top five of the Sunday Times bestseller list and won the Costa First Novel Award.
Who has been cast in Elizabeth is Missing?
The role of Maud will be played by Glenda Jackson, an Oscar-winning actress and former Labour government minister who makes her return to the small screen after more than 25 years. She is now 83.
On joining the cast, Jackson said that she was “delighted” to be returning to television.
“Emma’s novel and Andrea’s screenplay paint the most striking portrait of a woman in the grip of a devastating condition,” she said. “I am delighted to be making my return to television to play Maud, a character it’s impossible not to be charmed and moved by.”
Jackson won two Oscars in the 1970s for Women in Love and A Touch of Class, but she later retired from acting and entered into politics, serving as a Junior Transport minister under Tony Blair.
However, in 2015 she returned to the stage, winning a Tony Award for her performance in Three Tall Women on Broadway.
Peaky Blinders and Bodyguard star Sophie Rundle also joins the cast as Maud’s older sister Sukey, who will appear in flashbacks. Fellow Peaky Blinders actor Sam Hazeldine will star as Tom.