An adaptation of MR James’s short story, the one-off 30-minute drama will also star Sacha Dhawan (Last Tango In Halifax), John Castle (I, Claudius), David Ryall (The Village), Eleanor Bron (Absolutely Fabulous), Nick Burns (Nathan Barley) and Roy Barraclough (Coronation Street).
The Tractate Middoth will air on BBC Two this Christmas.
The official synopsis reads: “In a quiet academic library, John Eldred (Castle) seeks out the help of young Mr Garrett (Dhawan) in his search for a seemingly obscure Hebrew text. But there is something unusual about this book and something not entirely scholarly about Eldred’s intentions. Soon, Garrett’s hunt for the Tractate Middoth provokes terrifying apparitions in the library and a vengeful menace from beyond the grave.”
Gatiss commented: “The wonderful adaptations of MR James’s tales that I saw on TV as a child have been a lasting inspiration to me. I’m delighted to restore the tradition of a BBC ‘Ghost Story for Christmas’ and bring to life a personal favourite – The Tractate Middoth – one of James’s most atmospheric, thrilling, and downright scary tales.”
Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for Arts, added: “In his ghost stories MR James displays a beguiling mixture of dry wit, singular erudition and a joyful enthusiasm for the macabre. Mark Gatiss shares the same attributes and it is tremendously exciting to be working on both a new drama and a documentary investigation of what made this great British eccentric tick.”
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