‘Downton Abbey’ star joins new BBC period drama ‘Life After Life’

Jessica Brown Findlay is starring in an upcoming adaptation of Life After Life.

Based on Kate Atkinson’s acclaimed novel, the four-part mini-series is filming right now.

Award-winning playwright Bash Doran (Traitors) is adapting the book for BBC One with Brooklyn director John Crowley.

Alongside Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay, who played Lady Sybil Crawley in ITV’s hit period drama, the cast also includes Sian Clifford (Fleabag), James McArdle (Man In An Orange Shirt), and Jessica Hynes (Up the Women).

They’ll be joined by Patsy Ferran (Black Narcissus), Harry Michell (Yesterday), Laurie Kynaston (The Trouble With Maggie Cole) Joshua Hill (Small Axe), Maria Laird (Derry Girls), and Sean Delaney (Killing Eve).

The official synopsis reads “Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) plays Ursula Todd, who is born to Sylvie and Hugh (Sian Clifford and James McArdle) one night in 1910, but dies before she draws her first breath.

“On that same night in 1910, Ursula is reborn and survives. Time and time again, living and dying in different circumstances, Ursula is reborn into a new, alternative iteration of life once more.

“This compelling story follows Ursula as she navigates each new life, through a critical era which spans two world wars, an encounter with Hitler and major life events. But what is it that Ursula so desperately needs to stay alive for?

“Can a perfect life ever be lived? Can the course of history ever be changed? Can Ursula save the world?”

Thomasin McKenzie commented: “I’m drawn to Life After Life because it makes me laugh, cry, clench my fists in anger or whoop with empowerment.”

She added: “Bash has done a stunning job at adapting Kate Atkinson’s masterpiece, and working with John has already taught me a great deal – reinforcing my love for collaborating and creating.”

Life After Life will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK later this year.

Executive producers Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell said: “We feel extremely lucky to have worked with John Crowley and Fiona Weir to assemble such a very special cast – some of the UK’s most talented actors for this wonderful story of Ursula Todd’s many fascinating, joyful, traumatic, amusing and surprising lives.

“And in Thomasin, we have found our perfect heroine for Bash’s beautiful scripts. With her luminous intelligence, she brings an extraordinary maturity to this part.”

A second Downton Abbey movie started filming this month and is set for release this Christmas.

Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection box set is available on DVD on Amazon.