Steven Knight, creator of Peaky Blinders and Taboo, is to adapt some of Charles Dickens’ best loved novels for BBC One with A Christmas Carol marking the first production. Much like the BBC did back in the 1980’s with their Television Shakespere adaptations these new versions, set to be made over the next few years, will give us a “boxset” of the Victorian author’s work. All with the trademark Knight sheen. The stories will be made by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free productions and Tom Hardy’s Hardy Son and Baker.
A Christmas Carol will be the first adaptation in this planned series. As Ebenzer Scrooge, the miserly cold-hearted boss, is visited by four ghosts from the past, present and the future, on a freezing Christmas Eve, he must face up to how his self-interested, penny pinching behaviour has impacted his own life and those around him, leaving him in a paranoid bubble of fear. Is it too late for him to save the spirit of Christmas, and himself?
Steven Knight says: “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, says: “Steven’s unique ability to reimagine the past and to turn it in to must see drama make him the perfect writer to reimagine 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 says: “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.”
Epic director Ridley Scott says: “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.”
Kate Crowe, Head of TV, Scott Free London, says: “A Christmas Carol explores miserliness, isolation and selfishness against generosity, charity and open-heartedness; a clash of ideologies that is as significant today as it ever has been.”
Tom Hardy, Hardy Son and Baker, says: “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.”
There will be something of a wait though, the three part A Christmas Carol is not set to broadcast until Christmas 2019.