BBC to film Mieville's The City and the City

Brian G Turner

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#1
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2015/the-city-and-the-city

Here's the announcement:

Tony Grisoni (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Southcliffe, The Red Riding Trilogy, The Unloved) adapts this unique thriller from one of Britain’s foremost fantasy writers. China Miéville, three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award, published The City And The City in 2009 to dazzling acclaim, drawing comparisons with Kafka, Orwell and Philip K Dick.
The series has been commissioned by Kim Shillinglaw, Controller BBC Two and Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning and is produced by Mammoth Screen (Poldark, Parade's End).

In a departure for science fantasy that will bend the mind as well as the senses, the four-part serial follows Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad, resident of the crumbling city of Besźel. The mutilated body of a foreign student is found dumped on some wasteland and Borlú is assigned to the case. Borlu is unfazed until he uncovers evidence that the dead girl had been involved in the political turmoil between Besźel and its prosperous twin city of Ul Qoma, which occupies the same physical space. Citizens of each city are forbidden from seeing each other, and the frontier between the cities is policed by 'Breach' which punishes all transgressions.

Despite the violent deaths of those around him, and a growing realisation that he is personally implicated in the crimes, Borlú doggedly chases the truth. To solve the case he will have to embark on an odyssey of the mind, a journey across the border from one reality to another.

Kim Shillinglaw, Controller BBC Two says: “I want BBC Two to give writers and directors the space to do their most creative, signature work and I’m thrilled to be announcing an adaptation of China Miéville's novel, The City and the City. Miéville is one of the country’s most popular fantasy writers and I’m really pleased that we are bringing his highly original voice to the screen, adapted by acclaimed writer, Tony Grisoni.”

Mammoth's Managing Director Damien Timmer adds: “We are thrilled to be bringing China's dazzlingly inventive novel to BBC Two. It's a 21st Century classic - a truly thrilling and imaginative work which asks big questions about how we perceive the world and how we interact with each other.”

Rebecca Keane, Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer from Mammoth Screen developed the project with producer Robyn Slovo (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Tony Grisoni.

Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning says: “The City and The City is an extraordinarily original novel which through Tony Grissoni's wonderful adaptation, promises to be a truly distinct, surprising and compelling drama for BBC Two.”

The Executive Producers are Tony Grisoni, Damien Timmer and Preethi Mavahalli for Mammoth Screen and Matthew Read for the BBC.
 

Werthead

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#11
The BBC have released all 4 episodes on the iPlayer already.

The City And The City - Available now - BBC Two

Apparently negotiations are going on with an American broadcaster. Based on previous form, it'll likely end up on Netflix, Amazon or BBC America. Otherwise it'll be the (probably) region-free Blu-Ray out next month.
 

Ursa major

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#15
I've only seen the first episode and liked it. I'm particualrly impressed by the way they've managed show the "unseeing", something far more easily described... and far more easily done badly.


What I, as someone who has read the book, do wonder about is how much sense it makes to those who haven't read the book.
 

sinister42

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#16
yeah that's a good question. For someone unfamiliar with Mieville's work generally, this thing could look very very confusing. But I think they've done a good job with showing vs. telling here, explaining how it all works without explaining how it all works. I'm sure having Mieville as a consultant helps - he's a ****ing master of throwing his readers into a world and demanding they figure it out themselves, which is one of the reasons I want to have his cockroach-headed communist babies.

Now how about a Perdido Street Station movie? Anyone have Terry Gilliam's number?
 

mosaix

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#17
I've only seen the first episode and liked it. I'm particualrly impressed by the way they've managed show the "unseeing", something far more easily described... and far more easily done badly.


What I, as someone who has read the book, do wonder about is how much sense it makes to those who haven't read the book.
I haven’t read the book, UM, but after 3 episodes I’m finding it quite easy to understand and enjoying it immensely.

I will read the book now.
 

Dave

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#19
I've seen the first episode and it wasn't hard to understand what's happening at all. The geographical positioning of the two cities might be confusing, but then that is really the whole point, isn't it? Maybe it might have been confusing if I wasn't aware this was going to be fantasy, and China Mieville in particular, and if I had tuned in to watch just a another police procedural set in some East European city. I can't see many people doing that as it has been clearly flagged up in interviews and other promotional material as being "a bit weird."

My own problem is that I found Perdido Street Station very slow and hard going (almost didn't finish it.) I haven't read anything else by him. This also began ever so s l o w but it picked up about 2/3 rds of the way through and I really want to see episode 2. So, I would recommend watching it.
 

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