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Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley cast in The Midwich Cuckoos, a sci-fi thriller based on the book

It's a dark, disturbing modern-day adaptation of John Wyndham’s classic novel of the same name

Keeley Hawes will star in The Midwich Cuckoos opposite Max Beesley, Sky has announced.

The Sky Original drama has been described as “an exciting modern-day reimagining of John Wyndham’s classic science fiction novel of the same name”.

Clique’s Synnøve Karlsen, Aisling Loftus from A Discovery of Witches, and I May Destroy You’s Lewis Reeves have also joined the cast.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming drama.

Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley have been cast in The Midwich Cuckoos (Credit: Sky)
Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley appear in The Midwich Cuckoos (Credit: Sky)

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What is The Midwich Cuckoos about?

The Midwich Cuckoos is a dark, disturbing modern-day adaptation of John Wyndham’s classic science fiction novel of the same name.

First of all, a mysterious silver object appears in the sleepy English village of Midwich, and all the inhabitants fall unconscious.

The object disappears and all the residents wake up unharmed a day later – however, all the women in the village are pregnant!

The children subsequently born in Midwich do not belong to their parents – all are blonde and golden-eyed.

Finally, they grow up too fast and their minds show frightening abilities that give them control over others…

The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.

The thriller lays bare any parent’s worst fear: that the thing most precious to us – a child – might want to destroy us.

Who does Keeley Hawes play in The Midwich Cuckoos?

BAFTA-nominated Keeley Hawes stars as gifted psychotherapist Dr Susannah Zellaby in the new drama.

Viewers know her from Spooks, Bodyguard, Honour and The Durrells.

Most recently, she portrayed Valerie Tozer in C4’s It’s A Sin, and Alice in ITV’s Finding Alice.

Keeley can do no wrong, as far as we’re concerned!

Keeley Hawes says: “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!”

Farida in Line Of Duty series six
Anneika Rose, who plays Farida in Line of Duty, joins the cast of The Midwich Cuckoos (Credit: BBC One)

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The Midwich Cuckoos cast alongside Keeley Hawes

Max Beesley, famous for his roles in Bodies, Homeland, Suits and Ordinary Lies, also leads the line-up.

Max portrays local Midwich officer DCI Paul Kirby, who is tasked with maintaining order.

Aisling Loftus from A Discovery of Witches joins the cast, as does Blindspot’s Ukweli Roach, Clique’s Synnøve Karlsen and Robin Hood’s Lara Rossi.

Lewis Reeves, who plays DC Jake Collier in Unforgotten and David in I May Destroy You also stars.

Raised by Wolves star Rebekah Staton will also appear, alongside Anneika Rose, who is currently portraying Farida in Line of Duty.

Where is The Midwich Cuckoos starring Keeley Hawes filmed?

The Midwich Cuckoos is set to begin production in London in May 2021.

The film, like the book, is set in Midwich, a small English commuter town.

Midwich is a fictional British town.

lewis reeves in i may destroy you
Lewis Reeves, seen here in I May Destroy You, stars in The Midwich Cuckoos (Credit: BBC One)

Is it based on a book? Who wrote The Midwich Cuckoos?

John Wyndham wrote the book The Midwich Cuckoos.

The late author also penned The Day of the Triffids, Chocky and many more.

The book has been adapted for the screen by Emmy award-nominated writer David Farr (The Night Manager, Hanna).

David Farr, writer and creator of The Midwich Cuckoos, said: “I first read The Midwich Cuckoos when I was 12.

“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.

“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.”

David Farr wrote the series, with Sasha Hails, Namsi Khan and Laura Lomas.

How many parts is The Midwich Cuckoos and when does it start?

The Midwich Cuckoos is an eight-part series.

Route 24 produces it, backed by ITV Studios and Snowed-In Productions, in association with Sky Studios.

The modern-day adaptation is set to air on Sky and streaming service NOW in 2022.

Gabriel Silver, Director of Commissioning for Drama, said: “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.”

The Midwich Cuckoos will air on Sky and streaming service NOW in 2022.

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