Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell, Michelle Dockery, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling to star in BBC One's adaptation of William Boyd's Restless

It’s a delight to be able to tell William Boyd's best seller over three hours on BBC One."Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning
Date: 25.06.2012     Last updated: 19.03.2014 at 09.30
Category: BBC One; Drama
Casting has been announced for Endor Productions' television adaptation of William Boyd’s best-seller, Restless, which is due for transmission on BBC One, late 2012.

Hayley Atwell (Any Human Heart, Captain America), Rufus Sewell (Pillars Of The Earth, Zen), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Anna Karenina), Michael Gambon (Page Eight, Luck) and Charlotte Rampling (Melancholia, The Eye Of The Storm) begin filming the two-part drama this summer in South Africa and the UK.

Restless will be directed by acclaimed theatre director, Edward Hall (Spooks MI5), and produced by Emmy award-winner, Hilary Bevan Jones (State Of Play, Girl In The Cafe). The drama has been ordered by Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning BBC and Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One. The 2x90min serial is adapted by Boyd from his award-winning novel of the same title.

What becomes of your life when everything you thought was solid and certain about it turns out to be a fantastically complicated lie? This happens to Ruth Gilmartin (Michelle Dockery) when, one day in 1976, her mother Sally (Charlotte Rampling) suddenly tells her she has been living a double life. She is not respectable Sally Gilmartin but in fact Eva Delectorskaya, a spy for the British Secret Service who has been on the run for 30 years.

Eva’s story begins in Paris in 1939. Eva (Hayley Attwell), a beautiful Russian émigrée, is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer (Rufus Sewell), a mysteriously alluring Englishman. As Romer trains Eva to become the perfect spy their love affair begins. When a crucial mission collapses in the USA and Eva finds herself in terrible, fatal jeopardy she knows she has no option but to run and hide - forever. Once a spy always a spy. No-one can be trusted. But now Sally Gilmartin yearns to end her years of restless watching and waiting.

Thirty years on, the only man who can bring this about is her former lover and spymaster, Lucas Romer, now Baron Mansfield of Hampton Cleeve (Michael Gambon), and the only person she can call on for help is her daughter, Ruth. The final chapter of this epic story of love, duplicity and betrayal is about to end – and who will pay the greatest price remains to be discovered.

Screenwriter and author, William Boyd, says: “To have the chance to film a novel like Restless over three hours is the sort of opportunity that only a television adaptation can provide. It represents the most enticing and alluring of possibilities – not only to tell an enthralling story of wartime espionage, love and betrayal but also to lift the lid on one of the last secrets of the Second World War.”

Director, Edward Hall, adds: “William’s script is as gripping as his novel. Restless represents an extraordinary expression of what major British Drama can achieve through the medium of television and the unique organization that is the BBC.”

Producer, Hilary Bevan Jones, says: “Restless weaves a great love story within a riveting espionage thriller. Trust, betrayal and the need to escape the past are at the heart of this story; and Will has brought these themes to the screen with great elan."

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says: "It’s a delight to be able to tell William Boyd's best seller over three hours on BBC One. The fine cast assembled are a testament to the epic quality of his wartime spy thriller, set across two time periods with an intoxicating female at the centre."

Restless is an Endor production in association with Sundance Channel for BBC One. It is produced by Hilary Bevan Jones and Paul Frift and directed by Edward Hall. The executive producers are William Boyd, Matthew Read for the BBC and Christian Vesper for Sundance Channel.


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Notes to Editors

In March 2012, Red Arrow Entertainment took a majority shareholding in Endor Productions and Restless is the first commission to go into production under the new partnership. Restless will be sold worldwide by SevenOne International, Red Arrow's distribution company. Launched in January 2010, ProSiebenSat.1 Group owned Red Arrow combines a dynamic and growing group of 16 TV production companies spanning nine countries.

About Sundance Channel

Sundance Channel is the destination for What’s Next, Now. Showcasing both today’s creative icons and the emerging talent of tomorrow, Sundance Channel tells credible, authentic, and emotionally immersive stories of Invention, Fashion, Film, Travel, Design, and Enterprise. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc, Sundance Channel provides perspectives dedicated to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity.