Liz Jensen’s bestselling 2009 novel The Rapture is to be adapted into a five part drama, written by Bryony Kimmings (Last Christmas) and produced by Mammoth Screen (The Serpent, World on Fire) for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The Rapture will star Ruth Madeley (Years and Years, Then Barbara Met Alan, Doctor Who). It is directed by Chanya Button (World On Fire and one of the forthcoming Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant). Rebecca Manley wrote episode four.

Recovering from a car crash which has left her paralysed, forensic psychologist Gabrielle Fox (Ruth Madeley) takes a job working in a maximum security facility for juvenile patients. Here she meets 16-year-old inmate Bethany Krall who was found guilty of brutally murdering her mother and tells Gabs that she has psychic powers. Is she a highly manipulative psychopath or is she telling the truth when she says she can foretell a natural disaster linked to climate catastrophe?

Ruth Madeley says: “I am thrilled to be teaming up with the BBC and Mammoth Screen to lead such an epic series. I loved Liz Jensen’s novel and Bryony Kimmings’ scripts are brilliantly inventive and funny and scary. Gabs is such a rich and complex character and I cannot wait to play her.”

Bryony Kimmings says: “When I read The Rapture I fell immediately in love with its fallible, weird, potty mouthed, struggling female leads. The gift of the book is its reluctant protagonists with too much on their plate to think about the climate. That’s me – that’s most of us! I can’t wait to bring them to the screen so you can fall in love with them too.”

Executive producers Tom Leggett and Damien Timmer from Mammoth Screen add: “The Rapture is a dream project for us – Liz Jensen’s novel and Bryony’s scripts crackle with wit and danger and feature two outstanding female lead characters, all set against a genuinely urgent story about climate catastrophe. Having Ruth Madeley as Gabs is the icing on the cake!”

Lindsay Salt says: “We’re thrilled to be bringing Liz Jensen’s truly compelling novel to life with the fantastic Ruth Madeley at the forefront. The Rapture blends a vitally important story of climate change with the gripping narrative rooted by two complicated and captivating women. It’s fantastic to be working with Mammoth Screen again and we can’t wait for audiences to be hooked in by this emotional rollercoaster of a drama.”

The Rapture is a Mammoth Screen production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The five-part series is written by Bryony Kimmings and Rebecca Manley. The director is Chanya Button and the producer is Bryony Arnold. The executive producers are Tom Leggett and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen and Rebecca Ferguson for the BBC. The Rapture is produced in association with ITV Studios who will distribute it internationally.

Image: Bryony Kimmings, credit: Alex Lake

Pippa Considine

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