Prepare for curses, mummies and period mysteries. The tale of how Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered is being turned into an ITV drama.
The real-life story of Howard Carter and Lord Carnavon’s historic discovery in the 1920s will be transformed into a four-part series for the broadcaster, with filming set to start in South Africa this winter.
The drama will focus on eminent British archaeologist Howard Carter and his struggle to uncover lost treasures, beginning in 1905 in the Valley of the Kings as his career took an unhappy turn.
Carter then met aristocrat and amateur archaeologist Lord Carnarvon (who Downton Abbey fans will be interested to know lived in Highclere Castle where the drama is filmed) and the pair struck up an unlikely friendship while searching for the final resting place of Egypt’s famous boy king.
The Bletchley Circle’s Guy Burt will pen the script while Home Fires’ Francis Hopkinson and Catherine Oldfield will executive produce.
“Howard Carter’s discovery of the lost tomb of Tutankhamun is legendary,” said Hopkinson. “His all-consuming, obsessive search for the tomb pushed his friendship with Lord Carnarvon to the brink, whilst the adventurous and extrovert aristocrat poured his inheritance into the excavation.”
“This is a fascinating and compelling story with real historical significance,” added Oldfield. “It’s based on true events and reveals how Carter desperately tries to persuade his patron (Carnarvon) to continue to bankroll the excavation. Ultimately it’s the story of what happens when you stake everything on one last roll of the dice.”
The C Word’s Simon Lewis will also produce and Girl with a Pearl Earring’s Peter Webber will direct.
There’s no word yet on casting.