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The Luminaries (BBC TV Series 2020, Eva Green, Eve Hewson)

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The Luminaries BBC 2020

In period drama The Luminaries, set in the 1860’s and based on the novel by Eleanor Catton, Anna Wetherell (Eve Hewson) plans to begin a new life in New Zealand. En route she meets and falls for Emery Staines (Himesh Patel). She is convinced a great new life awaits her but a run in with the mysterious fortune teller Lydia Wells (Eva Green) changes everything.

Soon Anna is caught up in mess of blackmail, fraud and stolen identity and worse still accused of murder.

The style is distinctly non linear and plays with different timelines, sometimes to the detriment of the story. Eva Green is the biggest name and plays somewhat to type but Eve Hewson (real name Memphis Eve Sunny Day Hewson and daughter of U2 front man Bono) is starting to make a name for herself following roles in US TV drama The Knick and big screen movie Robin Hood (she was Maid Marion to Taron Egerton’s Robin.) Himish Patel has also taken another leap forward here after his excellent turn in Beatles fantasy Yesterday.

Catton’s novel won the 2013 Man Booker prize and was commissioned by the BBC in 2016 with Working Title and Southern Light Films producing the series. Catton also took on the task of adapting her novel for the small screen. It’s a big budget, lush six parter filmed in New Zealand and the cast also includes Marton Csokas, Erik Thompson, Benedict Hardie and Yoson An.

The series, which is directed by Claire McCarthy, consists of six one hour episodes, and aired in June 2020.