BBC orders first ever ‘Lord of the Flies’ TV series adaptation

Lord of the Flies is being adapted for television by the BBC!

Written by Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Golding, the iconic book finds a group of young boys stranded on a tropical island.

Lord of the Flies was first published in 1954 and has been one of the most popular novels studied in British schools for over 70 years.

A brand new TV series based on the book was announced this week, telling the story over four 60-minute episodes.

Adapting the story for the first time on television is BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jack Thorne.

The 44-year-old writer is best known for writing the Enola Holmes movies, the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the BBC’s His Dark Materials series.

Thorne also wrote 2020’s The Secret Garden movie, Robbie Coltrane’s National Treasure, acclaimed Covid drama Help, and Channel 4’s This is England series.

“[Executive producer Joel Wilson] and I were talking in his kitchen and he said ‘go on, name it, the one you’d like to do but don’t think you ever will get the chance to’ and I said Lord of the Flies, a book that left a scar on me like no other,” recalled Thorne.

“Joel shot up and said he’d been pestering the Golding family’s representatives for years. Soon after, he found a way to Judy Carver, and then brought me in and I am so delighted they’ve trusted us with this incredible book.”

Explaining the book’s ongoing appeal, Thorne said: “It is a book, I think, full of love as well as cruelty, about how we survive as people and the ways we undo ourselves. It is a TV show we hope families will watch together on the sofa and unpick just as I unpicked the book with my Mum as a kid.”

The new Lord of the Flies series comes from production company Eleven, the makers of upcoming ’50s drama Ten Pound Poms.

Set to launch on BBC One soon, Ten Pound Poms follows a group of Brits as they leave dreary post-war Britain in 1956 to embark on a life-altering move to Australia.

“It is a great honour and joy to be taking responsibility for the adaptation of such a precious novel,” commented Joel Wilson from Eleven, “particularly given I’ll be working alongside my dear friend Jack – one of the kindest and most insightful writers on the planet.”

We’re not yet sure if the series will retain the original story’s time period or if it’ll be set in a more contemporary era.

Lord of the Flies has previously been brought to the screen in movie adaptations three times.

Peter Brook directed 1963’s film, followed by a Filipino adaptation in 1975 called Alkitrang Dugo.

The most recent version came 33 years ago when director Harry Hook made the 1990 movie.

William Golding’s daughter, Judy Golding Carver, has also given the BBC’s new project her seal of approval.

“My father wrote the novel in a passionate, visionary response to the aftermath of war,” she said this week. “He understood that its relevance would not die away.

“I believe he would welcome the freshness and vigour with which Jack and Joel undertake the project, and he would certainly be touched by their intense commitment.

“Our family has been encouraged by our discussions with them – and as a result we put our trust in their skills and enthusiasm. My father was proud of the novel and had faith in its power and honesty. His family believe that this adaptation will do full justice to these qualities.”

Lord of the Flies is expected to premiere in the UK on BBC One and streaming on BBC iPlayer in 2024.

International broadcasters for the series haven’t yet been revealed, but Eleven have history working with Netflix, making four seasons of their hit British comedy-drama Sex Education.

We recently got our first look at Ten Pound Poms, with photos of Michelle Keegan (Our Girl), Faye Marsay (Game of Thrones), and Warren Brown (Luther) in the show.

William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies is available on Amazon.