Sky has announced the cast for its upcoming The Midwich Cuckoos mini-series.
Based on John Wyndham’s classic 1957 science fiction novel, the new eight-part adaptation begins filming in London next month.
Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) and Max Beesley (Jamestown) will lead the cast.
They’ll be joined by Aisling Loftus (A Discovery of Witches), Ukweli Roach (Blindspot), Synnøve Karlsen (Last Night In Soho), Lara Rossi (Robin Hood), Lewis Reeves (I May Destroy You), Rebekah Staton (Raised by Wolves), and Anneika Rose (Line of Duty).
The Midwich Cuckoos is being adapted by The Night Manager writer David Farr, with Alice Troughton (A Discovery of Witches) and Jennifer Perrott (Gentleman Jack) directing.
Keeley Hawes commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Sky and the brilliant Ruth Kenley-Letts on David Farr’s superb adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos.
“I’m very much looking forward to working with the hugely talented Max Beesley and the amazing cast and I can’t wait to enter the strange and unsettling world of Midwich!”
Hawes received critical acclaim earlier this year for her role in 1980s AIDS drama It’s a Sin.
The Midwich Cuckoos is described as “an unnerving fable for our turbulent times, a thrilling, strange and at times horrifying journey into parenthood, which lays bare any parent’s worst fear: that the thing most precious to us – a child – might desire our destruction.”
Writer David Farr said: “I first read The Midwich Cuckoos when I was twelve. I was living in a small town in 1980s Britain. Everything about the book rang true to me and terrified me. An invasion of a small community by a hostile and ruthless force. Apparently innocent children as a force of huge malevolent power. It got under my skin.
“As I’ve grown older, the story has never ceased to exert a grip. The idea that we may birth our own destruction is so simple and frightening. That as a mother or a father, the being we love most in the world may turn on us. It’s the stuff of nightmares.”
The story has been adapted twice previously, in 1960 and 1995, as Village of the Damned.
The official synopsis reads: “Midwich, a small English commuter town, is liberal and aspirational, populated by nuclear families and affluent high streets. A place where nothing much happens – and for a very good reason.
“That is until the twilight hours of a summer’s day when a sleepy corner of Midwich is plunged into panic. People pass out on their feet without warning, without reason. Anyone who tries to enter meets the same fate. And nobody can understand why.
“When the mysterious blackout is lifted, life for those affected returns to apparent normality – except every woman of child-bearing age inside the zone has suddenly and inexplicably fallen pregnant.
“As news spreads and tensions simmer, it is up to gifted psychotherapist Dr Susannah Zellaby (Hawes) to help support those affected through the emotional wilderness. Susannah’s own daughter, Cassie (Karlsen), has fallen pregnant and harbours deep concerns about who, or what, is behind this phenomenon.
“Local officer DCI Paul Kirby (Beesley) is tasked with maintaining order but unbeknownst to them all, a terrifying force is building in the comfortable streets of Midwich. These children – potential parasites – flourish under the very love and care that their families give them. Who are these children? And what do they want?”
The Midwich Cuckoos will premiere in the UK and Ireland on Sky One and NOW TV next year.
John Wyndham’s original novel is available on Amazon.