Peter Capaldi is to star in a Mark Gatiss-penned ghost story for the BBC. The Doctor Who star is to feature in Martin’s Close, an adaptation of the M.R. James story, for BBC Four alongside Wilf Scolding, Simon Williams, Sara Crowe, Fisayo Akinade and Elliot Levey.
Written by Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Gatiss, who also starred in Game of Thrones, the story follows the murder trial of John Martin. It is presented as a report of the trial in 1684, where Martin has been accused of murdering a young girl named Ann Clark, with whom he had a one-sided romance. The prosecution presents the case that Martin murdered Ann Clark, because she ruined a good marriage proposal for him. During the trial, an event is described in which Martin acted in a guilty manner when confronted with a possible apparition of the girl. In the end, Martin is found guilty of the crime, despite his attempt to have the case dismissed on a legal technicality, and is sentenced to death.
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Capaldi will play barrister Dolben, Scolding (Game of Thrones) as John Martin, Simon Williams (The Archers) as Stanton, Sara Crowe (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Sarah, James Holmes (Miranda) as Snell, Fisayo Akinade (A Very English Scandal) as William, and Elliot Levey (Murder on the Orient Express) as Judge George Jeffreys.
The 30-minute drama comes on the back of last Christmas’ The Dead Room, written by Gatiss.
Gatiss said, “After the delightful success of last year’s The Dead Room, it’s a fantastic privilege to continue the tradition of the Christmas Ghost story on BBC Four – and what better than one of my favourite stories by the master of them all, M.R. James?”
Martin’s Close is produced by Can Do Productions with Adorable Media. It is adapted and directed by Mark Gatiss, and produced by Isibeal Ballance. Ben Irving is executive producer for the BBC.