Big news for fans of speculative fiction with word that David Morrissey has signed on as the lead in a long gestating adaptation of China Mieville's The City And The City for the BBC. Mieville is an absolute titan in science fiction and fantasy circles, his work rich and complex and both demanding of its readers while rewarding for those who put in the effort. For fans Mieville has long been considered one of those wish list sort of authors, one who we would love to see on screen but whose work has largely been considered unfilmable. Except now they're filming it.
Acclaimed writer Tony Grisoni (Southcliffe, Red Riding, The Young Pope) has handled the adaptation with Tom Shankland on tap to direct a four episode series with Morrissey to play Inspector Tyador Borlú, a cop investigating a murder in the fictional city of Besźel.
The four-part serial follows Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad, resident of the crumbling city of Besźel. The mutilated body of a foreign student is found dumped on some wasteland and Borlú is assigned to the case. Borlu is unfazed until he uncovers evidence that the dead girl had been involved in the political turmoil between Besźel and its prosperous twin city of Ul Qoma, which occupies the same physical space. Citizens of each city are forbidden from seeing each other, and the frontier between the cities is policed by 'Breach' which punishes all transgressions.
Despite the violent deaths of those around him, and a growing realisation that he is personally implicated in the crimes, Borlú doggedly chases the truth. To solve the case he will have to embark on an odyssey of the mind, a journey across the border from one reality to another.
The City And The City will air on BBC Two, though they do not seem to have announced an air date as of yet.