David Morrissey Mandeep Dhillon The City and the City

Surreal first trailer for BBC's adaptation of weird fiction novel The City and The City

Contributed by
Mar 28, 2018

The first trailer for BBC’s adaptation of China Miéville’s 2008 weird fiction novel The City and The City has arrived, and it looks mightily impressive.

Fans of the book will know that there’s a mysterious place to be discovered in the show, which takes place in the fictional European cities of Besźel and Ul Qoma, and judging by the trailer, the production design has worked hard to bring it all to life.

David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, The Missing) plays Inspector Tyador Borlú, who is investigating the murder of Mahalia Geary, a foreign student found dead with her face disfigured in a Besźel street. While his investigations start in his home city of Besźel, Borlú is then lead to Ul Qoma to assist their police, and suddenly stumbles upon Orciny, a mythical third city that is rumored to exist in the spaces between Besźel and Ul Qoma.

The surreal nature of the book’s plot certainly gives the show a big challenge in adapting it to the small screen, and interestingly, from the trailer it’s clear that British screenwriter Tony Grisoni is using a lot of voiceover narration to explain the quirks of the story. The book was previously adapted into a play by Christopher M. Walsh in 2013.

British author Miéville is said to have written the fantasy novel for his terminally ill mother who was a fan of the weird fiction genre, and has won a slew of science-fiction awards since its release in 2009. The book won the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel (tied with Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl) and the BSFA Award for Best Novel of 2009, as well as the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award. It also received the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

The City and The City premieres on BBC Two on Friday, Apr. 6 in the U.K., but there are no details yet as to when it will reach U.S. screens.

Are you excited about this adaptation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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