BBC Two Orders Eleanor Catton To Adapt Luminaries

BBC Two has ordered a six part adaptation of 2013 Man Booker Prize winner The Luminaries by its author Eleanor Catton. The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island during the 1860s gold rush.

The story begins in 1865 in a wild landscape, where fortunes are made, lives easily lost, and justice is rough and ready. Young adventurer Anna Wetherell, who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life, meets the radiant Emery Staines.

Anna must survive this dangerous world, where shipwreck and murder, blackmail and betrayal, greed, gold and false imprisonment all conspire to keep her apart from Emery. As they fall in love, driven together and apart by fate, they begin to wonder: do we make our fortunes, or do our fortunes make us?

Eleanor Catton says: “Learning to write for television has been a bit like learning a new musical instrument: the melody is more or less the same, but absolutely everything else is different. I’m having enormous fun, learning every day, and just so excited to see the world of the novel created in the flesh.”

BBC Two Channel Editor, Patrick Holland, says: “The Luminaries is one of the finest novels of recent years and Eleanor Catton’s own adaptation of her work is just as scintillating. It’s a work of startling originality told by a brilliant talent.”

The Luminaries begins filming in 2017 in and around New Zealand.