♦ China Mieville’s The City & The City novel has been adapted by the BBC and it started last Friday. Here’s actors David Morrissey, Mandeep Dhillon, writer Tony Grisoni and producer Preeti Mahavalli in conversation at the BFI last week about it…
Tony Grisoni (The Young Pope, Southcliffe, The Red Riding Trilogy) has adapted this four-part genre-busting thriller from one of Britain’s foremost fantasy writers in a production made by Mammoth Screen and directed by Tom Shankland (Les Misérables, House of Cards,The Missing).
The cast also includes Lara Pulver (Sherlock) as Borlú’s wife Katrynia, Mandeep Dhillon (Some Girls) as Constable Corwi of the Besźel Policzai, Maria Schrader (Deutschland 83) as Senior Detective Dhatt of the Ul Qoma Militsya, Ron Cook (Hot Fuzz) as Borlú’s superior Commissar Gadlem, Danny Webb (Humans) as hard-right nationalist politician Major Syedr, and Christian Camargo (Penny Dreadful) as Doctor Bowden, an American academic.
When the body of a foreign student is discovered in the streets of the down-at-heel city of Besźel, it’s just another day’s work for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad (David Morrissey). But he uncovers evidence that the murdered girl came from Ul Qoma, a city that shares a dangerous and volatile relationship with Besźel, and this case will challenge everything Borlú holds dear.
China Miéville, three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award, published The City &The City in 2009 to dazzling acclaim, drawing comparisons with Kafka, Orwell and Philip K Dick. He says of the television drama: “It’s been extraordinary and moving to see this huge process, whereby a book written alone is collectively transformed into something familiar yet quite new. And it is extraordinary and moving to see the final result.”
The City & The City was filmed on location in Manchester and Liverpool. The producer is Betsan Morris-Evans (NW, Endeavour) Robyn Slovo (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) executive produces, alongside Tony Grisoni, Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer from Mammoth Screen and Lucy Richer for the BBC.