BBC Two and BBC iPlayer have announced that this December, a ghost story entitled The Mezzotint written by M R James and adapted for television by Mark Gatiss (Dr Who, Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen) will air for Christmas this year. The Mezzontint is the latest ghost story to be adapted for the BBC by Mark Gatiss following Martin’s Close in 2019, The Dead Room in 2018, The Tractate Middoth in 2013, and Crooked House in 2008.
M R James, who is well known for writing dark and terror filled tales is the author of The Mezzotint which is guaranteed to give viewers a not so festive chill this winter. The story is set in 1922 at an old English college. Edward William receives an engraving of an unknown country house which depicts a large and imposing façade, a sweeping lawn and a shadowy mystery.
Starring in the adaptation will be Rory Kinnear (Years & Years, No Time To Die) as Edward William. Alongside him, viewers will see Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, Downton Abbey) as Garwood, and Frances Barber (Doctor Who, Semi-Detached) as Mrs Ambrigail. Additionally, the cast includes John Hopkins (Poldark, Lucky Man), Emma Cunniffe (Roadkill, Unforgotten), Nikesh Patel (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Indian Summers), and Tommaso Di Vincenzo (Dracula).
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, says: “I’m delighted that Mark Gatiss has assembled such an outstanding cast to conjure up another unmissable ghost story for BBC Two and iPlayer this Christmas. The Mezzotint is classic M. R. James, and the perfect slice of horror to thrill us this festive season.”
The Mezzotint was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. It is made by for the BBC by Can Do Productions with Adorable Media. Mark Gatiss has adapted and directed it, with Isibeal Ballance as producer and Ben Irving as executive producer.
The adaptation is a one-off, haunting stand-alone drama. Filming recently wrapped up in the South of England and The Mezzotint will be part of the BBC’s Christmas television offering for 2021.
Mark Gatiss says: “It’s delightful to be bringing a little seasonal unease to the nation once again and this famous M. R. James story is just the ticket. We’ve assembled a top-notch team to bring this eerie mystery – and a certain enigmatic old picture – to life.”