The Luminaries

How The Luminaries was adapted for the small screen

It is a brave screenwriter who takes on the task of squeezing a Booker-prizewinning doorstopper of a novel into six hours of television, even if that writer is the book’s author herself. It took Eleanor Catton seven years to adapt her 2013 novel The Luminaries for the screen (after a relatively brief five years writing the book), and plenty of playing with both form and story that another writer might not have dared.

Himesh Patel and Ewen Leslie join BBC Two’s new drama The Luminaries

(Credit: BBC)

Set in New Zealand during the 1860s, the series follows British adventurer Ana Wetherell (Eve Hewson) who falls in love with fortune hunter Emery Staines (Himesh Patel), and is plunged into a world of tragedy, mystery and revenge.

The couple must overcome numerous barriers put in their way, particularly from the spiteful Lydia Wells (Eva Green) and rich boy Francis Carver (Marton Csokas).

BBC Two reveals cast for new drama The Luminaries

Eve Hewson as Lucy Elkins in The Knick (Credit: Sky)

Set in New Zealand during the 1860s gold rush, The Luminaires follows British adventurer Anna Wetherell (Eve Hewson) as she searches for a new beginning across the globe.

When she falls for fortune hunter Emery Staines during an encounter on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the star-crossed lovers become entangled in a world of murder, revenge and tragedy. Especially with the not-so-pleasant Lydia Wells (Eva Green) and rich boy Francis Carver (Marton Csokas) causing trouble for the couple.