‘Black Narcissus’ recap: What happened in Episode 1?

The BBC’s new adaptation of Black Narcissus began in the UK tonight.

Based on English author Rumer Godden’s 1939 literary novel, it tells an iconic tale of sexual repression and forbidden love.

The three-part mini-series stars Gemma Arterton (Their Finest) as Sister Clodagh, Diana Rigg (Victoria) as Mother Dorothea, Jim Broadbent (War and Peace) as Father Roberts, Gina McKee (Bodyguard) as Sister Adela, and Rosie Cavaliero (Gentleman Jack) as Sister Briony.

Watch the trailer:


Here’s a plot recap for the first episode of Black Narcissus, which aired on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 27th December 2020:

Sister Clodagh and her group of Anglo-Catholic nuns travel from Darjeeling on a mission to the palace of Mopu in the Himalayas.

With the help of Mr Dean, the agent of General Toda Rai, they start to repair the palace and open a school.

But the unsettling atmosphere of their surroundings, the distracting presence of Mr Dean and stories of the palace’s previous occupants weigh heavily on them all, reawakening memories in Clodagh that she thought she had suppressed.

Rumer Godden’s novel Black Narcissus is available on Amazon.