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The Midwich Cuckoos: Keeley Hawes & Max Beesley to star in new Sky series

The Midwich Cuckoos

Keeley Hawes & Max Beesley will star in brand new Sky drama The Midwich Cuckoos.

The show is teased as a "dark, disturbing modern-day reimagining" of John Wyndham’s classic science fiction novel of the same name.

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BAFTA-nominated Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, It’s A Sin), and Max Beesley (The Outsider, Suits) are set to lead the line-up alongside Aisling Loftus (A Discovery of Witches), Ukweli Roach (Blindspot), Synnøve Karlsen (Last Night In Soho, Clique), Lara Rossi (Robin Hood), Lewis Reeves (I May Destroy You), Rebekah Staton (Raised by Wolves) and Anneika Rose (Line of Duty).

The Midwich Cuckoos is set to begin production in London in May and has been adapted for the screen by Emmy award-nominated writer David Farr (The Night Manager, Hanna).

The eight-part series is currently set to air on Sky One and streaming service NOW in 2022.

A synopsis shares: "Midwich, a small English commuter town, is liberal and aspirational, populated by nuclear families and affluent high streets. A place where nothing much happens – and for a very good reason.

"That is until the twilight hours of a summer’s day when a sleepy corner of Midwich is plunged into panic. People pass out on their feet without warning, without reason. Anyone who tries to enter meets the same fate. And nobody can understand why. When the mysterious blackout is lifted, life for those affected returns to apparent normality - except every woman of child-bearing age inside the zone has suddenly and inexplicably fallen pregnant.

"As news spreads and tensions simmer, it is up to gifted psychotherapist Dr Susannah Zellaby (Hawes) to help support those affected through the emotional wilderness. Susannah’s own daughter, Cassie (Karlsen), has fallen pregnant and harbours deep concerns about who, or what, is behind this phenomenon.

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"Local officer DCI Paul Kirby (Beesley) is tasked with maintaining order but unbeknownst to them all, a terrifying force is building in the comfortable streets of Midwich. These children – potential parasites - flourish under the very love and care that their families give them. Who are these children? And what do they want?

"The Midwich Cuckoos is an unnerving fable for our turbulent times, a thrilling, strange and at times horrifying journey into parenthood, which lays bare any parent’s worst fear: that the thing most precious to us – a child – might desire our destruction."

Gabriel Silver, Director of Commissioning for Drama said today: “From A Discovery of Witches to Patrick Melrose, we’ve had huge success taking modern classics from page to screen and giving them a fresh, modern, edge that is distinctly Sky. When the opportunity arose to create a modern-day adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel that is The Midwich Cuckoos, we jumped at the chance.”

David Farr, writer and creator of The Midwich Cuckoos added: "I first read The Midwich Cuckoos when I was twelve. I was living in a small town in 1980s Britain. Everything about the book rang true to me and terrified me. An invasion of a small community by a hostile and ruthless force. Apparently innocent children as a force of huge malevolent power. It got under my skin.

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“As I've grown older, the story has never ceased to exert a grip. The idea that we may birth our own destruction is so simple and frightening. That as a mother or a father, the being we love most in the world may turn on us. It's the stuff of nightmares."

Keeley Hawes, lead actor in The Midwich Cuckoos commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Sky and the brilliant Ruth Kenley-Letts on David Farr’s superb adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos. "I’m very much looking forward to working with the hugely talented Max Beesley and the amazing cast and I can’t wait to enter the strange and unsettling world of Midwich!”

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