Eleanor Catton’s 2013 bestselling novel The Luminaries was released to critical acclaim and won the prestigious Man Booker Prize, so it’s no surprise the BBC have worked their magic and spun it into a wonderful six-part TV series, which airs this Sunday 21 June at 9pm.
Described as ‘an epic adventure mystery’, the story is set in 1860s New Zealand amidst the booming gold rush. With corsets and crinolines galore, you can bet this will make for perfect Sunday night viewing. But before you settle in to the sofa, here’s what you can expect from the series.
The plot of The Luminaries
It’s the late 1800s, the gold rush is at its peak and men and women from all over the world are rushing to New Zealand’s South Island to grab themselves a slice of the fortune. One of those such people looking for a new life is a young British woman named Anna Wetherall. However, when she gets there, she meets the charming Emery Staines, which triggers ‘a strange kind of magic that neither can explain’. What ensues is a tale packed full of all the ingredients that make for a good period drama: love, murder, magic and revenge.
Here’s the trailer:
The Luminaries cast
Our lead, Anna, is played by Eve Hewson – best known for her Maid Marian in the recent Robin Hood adaptation, as well as for being the daughter of U2’s Bono – while Emery is portrayed by Himesh Patel, Yesterday star and Eastenders‘ Tamwar Masood. Eva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful and Cracks) is Lydia Wells, a fortune telling brothel madam who becomes intrinsically involved in the story.
Other stars among the cast include Owen Leslie, Marton Czokas, Erik Thomson, Benedict Hardie and Yoson An.
When will The Luminaries air?
Catch the first episode of The Luminaries this Sunday 21 June at 9pm on BBC One.