A Christmas Carol: trailer, cast, release date and more for new BBC series

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is doing his own version of A Christmas Carol for the Beeb

Guy Pearce in A Christmas Carol
Photo: BBC Pictures

The BBC has television plans of Dickensian proportions! A series of small screen adaptations of the 19th century literary works of Charles Dickens are on the way, and the Beeb has tapped Steven Knight, the mastermind behind the hit series Peaky Blinders, to head this ambitious initiative.

The Beeb has commissioned the series of Dickens TV adaptations, in which Steven Knight will work to create what is being called “a boxset of Dickens’s most iconic novels,” to be rolled out in the next few years. The first adaptation will be A Christmas Carol, the definitive Noel novel, famously depicting the miserly misanthrope Ebenezer Scrooge in his journey of philanthropic self-discovery by way of time-travelling spirits.

A Christmas Carol trailer – a creepy xmas classic

Our first proper look at the upcoming miniseries has arrived, as Guy Pearce gets a nasty visitation from a seasonal Gollum:

A Christmas Carol cast – some of the best

The main cast for A Christmas Carol was announced earlier in the year.

Guy Pearce (Mary Queen Of Scots) is playing Ebenezer Scrooge, Andy Serkis (Black Panther) is the Ghost of Christmas Past, Stephen Graham (This Is England) is Jacob Marley, Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders) is Lottie, Joe Alwyn (The Favourite) is Bob Cratchit, Vinette Robinson (Doctor Who) is Mary Cratchit, the late Rutger Hauer (True Blood) is the Ghost of Christmas Future, Kayvan Novak (What We Do In The Shadows) is Ali Baba and Lenny Rush (Old Boys) is Tim Cratchit.

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Knight also seemingly plans to use the same actors for each adaptation going forward, in what’s often been referred to as ‘the American Horror Story‘ approach:

“What I’m planning to do is adapt five Dickens books—A Christmas Carol plus four novels—and do it over a period of six or seven years and have a repertory of actors, and I think we’ll get the best actors in the world, hopefully, to take part because the Dickens characters are so great. And just do like [David] Copperfield and Oliver Twist and Great Expectations and do them in a modern way. Not really in a Taboo way, but sort of like that.

Knight is working with a lineup of familiar collaborative forces to make this happen, including Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London and Knight’s frequent on-and-off-screen collaborator Tom Hardy, by way of his Hardy Son and Baker company. Knight has said that Hardy will be involved further in the series, but hasn’t confirmed if he’ll be in front of the camera. However, Hardy has appeared for Knight in numerous films and shows, recently starring in Knight’s acclaimed series Taboo, 2014 film Locke and even a recurring role on Peaky Blinders.

A Christmas Carol release date – logs on the fire

“It’s gonna be three one-hours,” Knight told Collider about the episode count for A Christmas Carol a while back. “We’re planning to shoot this year and hopefully get it on the screen for Christmas.”

We shall wait and see if it makes a Yuletide slot!