Sky has released the first trailer for its upcoming original drama The Midwich Cuckoos, a dark, disturbing modern-day reimagining of John Wyndham’s classic science fiction novel of the same name.
BAFTA-nominated Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, It’s A Sin), and Max Beesley (The Outsider, Suits) lead the cast for this new eight-part series adapted by Emmy award-nominated writer David Farr (The Night Manager, Hanna), and others, with Alice Troughton as lead director.
Also in the cast are Aisling Loftus (A Discovery of Witches), Ukweli Roach (Blindspot), Synnøve Karlsen (Last Night In Soho, Clique), Lara Rossi (Robin Hood), Lewis Reeves (I May Destroy You), Rebekah Staton (Raised by Wolves) and Anneika Rose (Line of Duty).
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 eight-part series has been produced by Route 24 (backed by ITV Studios) and Snowed-In Productions, in association with Sky Studios.
“I first read The Midwich Cuckoos when I was twelve,” David Farr said last year. “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 Midwich Cuckoos was commissioned for Sky by Zai Bennett, Sky UK’s Managing Director of Content. Manpreet Dosanjh is the Commissioning Editor for Sky Studios. The series is written by David Farr, Sasha Hails, Namsi Khan and Laura Lomas.
Alice Troughton (Baghdad Central, Cucumber, A Discovery of Witches) is the lead director, with Jennifer Perrott (Gentleman Jack, Doctor Who) serving as director.
The series, which will air in 2022, is produced by Route 24 and Snowed-In Productions in association with Sky Studios. The executive producers are Marc Samuelson and Robert Cheek for Route 24 and Ruth Kenley-Letts and Neil Blair for Snowed-In Productions. Series producer is Eliza Mellor (Poldark, Behind Her Eyes).
NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales of the series on behalf of Sky Studios.
The Midwich Cuckoos was first published in 1957, a science fiction novel written by author John Wyndham, who also wrote Chocky, The Kraken Wakes and The Day of the Triffids. The book, which has been adapted for radio in several times, has been praised by many, including the dramatist Dan Rebellato, who called it a searching novel of moral ambiguities, and the novelist Margaret Atwood, who called the book Wyndham’s chef d’oeuvre.
John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos novel was, of course, the inspiration for two films, both titled Village of the Damned. The first, released in 1960, was directed by Wolf Rilla and starred George Sanders, Barbara Shelley and Laurence Naismith.
• The Midwich Cuckoos will transmit on Sky One and NOW in the UK and Ireland in 2022 – and will be available in all Sky markets