A three-part contemporary ghost story
For the first time in more than 20 years actor, comedian, writer and explorer Michael Palin is heading the cast of a BBC drama.
Remember Me is a three-part contemporary ghost story, by award winning writer Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Five Days, Miss Austen Regrets), made by Mammoth Screen for BBC One.
Palin plays Tom Parfitt, a frail, old Yorkshireman seemingly alone in the world whose admittance to a nursing home triggers a series of inexplicable events.
On the day elderly Tom leaves his home to move into residential care, he becomes the sole witness to a violent death. Teenage care assistant, Hannah (Jodie Comer - My Mad Fat Diary) and investigating police detective Rob Fairholme (Mark Addy - The Full Monty, Atlantis), try to unravel the riddle of his mysterious history, and are drawn into an eerie and dangerous world of lost love and betrayal.
Julia Sawalha (Larkrise to Candleford) also stars as Hannah's troubled mother Jan Ward with Mina Anwar (The Thin Blue Line) as Tom's neighbour, Roshana Salim.
Writer Gywneth Hughes says she screeched with joy upon hearing that Michael Palin was to star.
"He is just perfect. His character, Tom Parfitt, is a mysterious old cove, charming, with a wicked sense of fun. But the most important thing about him is that you must still be able to see the child he once was. Michael has that ability to convey the little boy who grew into the old man, to bring both parts of Tom's long existence to life at once. He is so exciting and compelling to watch.
"And who doesn't love a good ghost story on a winter's night? It's not just the goose bumps and the scary stuff; there's something wonderful about the way a ghost story allows you into a world where you can think about the biggest mysteries of life and death, while still having a rollicking good fairground ride."
Gwyneth recalls how the idea for the story was seeded in her mind: "I remember visiting the Scarborough Spa, seeing the extraordinary chequered dance floor, and thinking wow, what a wonderful place for a ghost to appear. I also remember trudging along the beach in the rain, and suddenly realising that there could be a spooky meaning to the endless list of impossible tasks in the song "Scarborough Fair".
"I researched all the real world elements very thoroughly: the old people's home, the police, the history of the folk song. I read a lot about belief in ghosts in India, and I visited the missionaries in London who cared for the Indian Ayahs. The bombardment of Scarborough in December 1914 really happened. But the ghostly stuff? I made all that up."
"I don't think I believe in ghosts in the real world. I just love the power a ghost can bring to a good story. I suppose everyone has had experiences with lost loved ones suddenly seeming very close. But I've never had anything resembling the scary experiences endured by the characters in Remember Me. I wouldn't want to either - it was scary enough writing it!
"You write every story with the simple hope that you can make them laugh, make them cry, and if it's a ghost story, make them jump as well! But at heart, Remember Me is a love story, and I hope that's what people will really take from it. It's about how long love can endure, about the responsibilities it brings, and about how true love must always be freely given."
Chris Carey (The Ambassadors, Dirk Gently, Run) is the producer, and Ashley Pearce (The Accused: Tracie's Story, Garrow's Law) directs. The executive producers are Rebecca Keane and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, Gwyneth Hughes and Polly Hill for the BBC.
Remember Me is a UK Tax Credit production, with additional funding from ITV GE & North Light Film Studios in West Yorkshire.
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