BBC America released a first look image for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, a seven-part original drama series based on the bestselling novel by British author Susanna Clarke, premiering in 2015. The series, set in a reimagined 19th century England, was adapted to the screen by Peter Harness (Wallander, Is Anybody There?) and directed by Toby Haynes (Dr. Who). It stars Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, The World’s End) as Jonathan Strange and Bertie Carvel (Les Misérables, Matilda) as Mr Norrell.
The Hugo Award-winning novel, named Time‘s Novel of the Year when it was published in 2004, offers a fantastical alternate history of England during the Napoleonic wars—one in which practical magic, revered but thought to have died out, is brought back by the titular pair. Jonathan Strange contains elements of Romance and Gothic literature, as well as fantasy and historical fiction. BBC America sets up the plot for us in the press release:
“The reclusive Mr Norrell (Marsan) of Hurtfew Abbey stuns the city of York when he causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. With a little persuasion and help from his man of business Childermass (Enzo Cilenti), he goes to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon. It is there Norrell summons a fairy ([Marc] Warren) to bring Lady Pole ([Alice] Englert) back from the dead, opening a whole can of worms…”