Fiona Seres’ adaptation of The Lady Vanishes for BBC One will star Keeley Hawes (Upstairs Downstairs, Ashes To Ashes), Gemma Jones (Spooks, Bridget Jones’s Diary), Stephanie Cole (Coronation Street, Doc Martin) and Julian Rhind-Tutt (The Hour, Notting Hill)
The 90-minute BBC Drama production of the psychological thriller will also see Selina Cadell take on the role of the Miss Froy (Doc Martin, Toast) with Tuppence Middleton (Spies of Warsaw) as Iris and Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction, Silk) as Max.
It begins filming this month in Budapest.
Adapted by Seres (The Silence, Tangle) from the novel The Wheel Spins - also filmed by Hitchcock as The Lady Vanishes - it will be directed by Diarmuid Lawrence (South Riding, Little Dorrit).
Executive producer for the BBC is Anne Pivcevic and the producer is Ann Tricklebank. It was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and Danny Cohen, controller, BBC One.
The drama is set in 1931 and beautiful and wealthy young socialite Iris Carr (Middleton) is the heart of her social circle. Whilst holidaying with her friends in the Balkans their raucous behaviour escalates and Iris resolves to seek out some tranquillity and travel home alone.
Fiona Seres, writer, said: “I am very excited to have such a brilliant cast for the Lady Vanishes not just the key characters played by Tuppence Middleton and Tom Hughes but also a dynamic supporting cast that includes Danish actors Benedikte Hansen and Jesper Christensen.”
Iris’s expectations of peace are short lived when she faints on the platform of the railway station in the scorching heat. She wakes in time to be rushed on to the train but with a pounding head and a feeling of being almost in a dream.
Whilst in this malaise she is comforted by Miss Froy (Cadell), whose tweed suit and bookish looks belie a jovial and adventurous spirit. Miss Froy talks at length about her desperation to return home to her family; but when Iris falls asleep she awakes to find Miss Froy has vanished and her fellow passengers denying she ever existed.
“Fiona’s adaptation of The Wheel Spins deftly weaves together the intriguing stories of a psychologically complex group of characters - with the mysterious disappearance of Miss Froy on a packed train - played out against the tense backdrop of the Balkans in the 1930s,” says Kate Harwood, controller, Series and Serials, BBC Drama.
“I am delighted with the incredible cast and crew we have assembled for the project. The Lady Vanishes will be a thrilling treat for BBC One audiences this Christmas.”
The outstanding cast also includes:, Alex Jennings (Silk, Whitechapel) as the Professor, Sandy McDade (Jane Eyre, Lark Rise To Candleford) as Mrs Barnes, Pip Torrens (Silk, Pride and Prejudice) as Rev Barnes, Benedikte Hansen (Borgen) as the Baroness, Jesper Christensen (Melancholia) as the Doctor, Emerald Fennell (Any Human Heart) as Odette, Charles Aitken (Bonkers) as Charlie and Daisy Lewis (Doctor Who) as Diana.