Another M. R. James ghost story is being adapted for television this Christmas.
Based on James’ 1904 story The Mezzotint, the 30-minute drama has been written by Mark Gatiss, who co-created the BBC’s hit Sherlock and Dracula series.
Gatiss is behind a number of previous ghost stories airing on the BBC at Christmas time, including Martin’s Close in 2019, The Dead Room in 2018, The Tractate Middoth in 2013, and Crooked House in 2008.
The Mezzotint recently completed filming in the South of England.
The official synopsis reads: “It’s 1922 and in the heart of an old English college, Edward Williams receives an engraving of an unknown country house. An imposing facade. A sweeping lawn. And, just perhaps, something else…?
“Laced with M. R. James’ trademark terror, The Mezzotint will guarantee a chill in the air for viewers this Christmas.”
The cast includes Rory Kinnear (Skyfall) stars as Williams, alongside Robert Bathurst (Downton Abbey), Frances Barber (Doctor Who), John Hopkins (Poldark), Emma Cunniffe (Unforgotten), Nikesh Patel (Indian Summers), and Tommaso Di Vincenzo (Dracula).
Writer Mark Gatiss commented: “It’s delightful to be bringing a little seasonal unease to the nation once again and this famous M. R. James story is just the ticket. We’ve assembled a top-notch team to bring this eerie mystery – and a certain enigmatic old picture – to life.”
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, added: “I’m delighted that Mark Gatiss has assembled such an outstanding cast to conjure up another unmissable ghost story for BBC Two and iPlayer this Christmas. The Mezzotint is classic M. R. James, and the perfect slice of horror to thrill us this festive season.”
The Mezzotint will air in the UK on BBC Two this Christmas.
Mark Gatiss hinted last year that Dracula could return for a second season.
The complete Sherlock box set is available on DVD on Amazon.