The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Transmission time confirmed as 9.00-10.00pm, Tuesday 10 January on BBC Two

Ep 1/2

Tuesday 10 January



This is an adaptation and completion of Charles Dickens’s last novel, Edwin Drood, left unfinished at the halfway mark at his death on 9 June 1870.

A strange, disturbing and modern tale about drugs, stalking and darkness visible, The Mystery of Edwin Drood by writer Gwyneth Hughes is a two-part psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster’s obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud and the lengths he will go to to attain her.

John Jasper is a troubled man, his psyche split between darkness and light. He has spent his life in the stifling and claustrophobic cathedral town of Cloisterham in a state of frustrated ambition and has become addicted to opium in an attempt to still his ennui and expand his horizons.

But the opium is fracturing Jasper’s mind so that even as his soul reaches for the sublime in his music, his darker self has conceived a murderous hatred of his nephew Edwin Drood who, he believes, stands between him and the lovely Rosa. The stage is set for a story of mental and moral decline as we discover exactly how far Jasper will go to attain the object of his desire.

Matthew Rhys is John Jasper; Rory Kinnear is Reverend Septimus Crisparkle; Freddie Fox is Edwin Drood; Tamzin Merchant is Rosa Bud; Alun Armstrong is Hiram Grewgious, Rosa’s guardian; Julia McKenzie plays the Reverend’s mother, Mrs Crisparkle; David Dawson is Bazzard; Ron Cook is Durdles; Sacha Dhawan is Neville Landless; Amber Rose Revah is Helena Landless, Neville’s twin sister; Ian McNeice is Mayor Sapsea; Janet Dale is Miss Twinkleton; Ellie Haddington (Luther) is Princess Puffer and young Alfie Davis plays Deputy.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood, alongside Great Expectations on BBC One, is part of the Dickens On The BBC season of programmes.