Gemma Arterton's new BBC One and FX drama Black Narcissus has received a mixed response from viewers after airing its first episode in the UK.
Adapted from Rumer Godden's 1939 novel of the same name by Apple Tree Yard and The Trial of Christine Keeler writer Amanda Coe, the three-part miniseries offers a new take on the story, having previously been adapted into the 1947 film starring Deborah Kerr.
Set in the 1930s, Black Narcissus tells a tale of sexual repression and forbidden love, following a group of nuns, including Sister Clodagh (Arterton), who travel from their British convent to Nepal to establish a mission in the remote and abandoned palace of Mopu.
However, Sister Clodagh's repressed romantic memories from her past soon become entwined with the tragic history of the long-dead Princess Srimati (Gianni Gonsalves), and tragedy looks set to repeat itself as questions of a haunting arise.
While some viewers enjoyed the suspenseful premiere, which aired in the UK tonight (December 27), others have described it as slow and uneventful.
"I thought they would never get close to matching the brilliant 1947 Deborah Kerr original but they have come very close to a faithful remake so far. I am pleasantly surprised. I hope it lasts," tweeted one hopeful person.
Another wrote: "A slow start but going to stick with it, a lot of undertones and tension brewing, something definitely is going to happen...right?"
Check out more of the reactions below.
#BlackNarcissus I thought they would never get close to matching the brilliant 1947, Deborah Kerr, original but they have come very close to a faithful remake so far. I am pleasantly surprised. I hope it lasts
— Ward Coleman (@WardColeman7) December 27, 2020
#BlackNarcissus @BBCOne was excellent. Stunning scenery and sets accentuated by great cinematography. The story is new to me (I've never seen the old Deborah Kerr film) and the cast, notably #GemmaArterton & #AislingFranciosi, are terrific. Looking forward to tomorrow's episode.
— Steve Whalley (@whalleysteve1) December 27, 2020
— Shahrukh (@ShahrukhBhatty) December 27, 2020
Think I’ll give 2 and 3 a miss. Far too slow. #BlackNarcissus
— Thomas Twitchett (@ThomasTwitchett) December 27, 2020
Well, it's a slow burn. The impending doom is a tad melodramatic. But it's about nuns in a palace at the top of a mountain. That is quite melodramatic.
We'll stick with it.
— Andy Lea 💙💙 (@AndyL1964) December 27, 2020
For all those complaining about how (apparently) slow this is; it’s a complex story that can’t be told in 5 minutes. Go back to a comic or some such. #BlackNarcissus
— Scott Birrell 🎄 (@s_birrell) December 27, 2020
#BlackNarcissus started well with this mysterious suicidal mystery then immediately switched to some nuns. It felt like it was trying to be mysterious but was just a load of banging windows. Not bothered with the next episodes. People who know the film/book does it get better?
— the world just got brighter, didn’t it? (@Baelme) December 27, 2020
The incredible 1947 film of #BlackNarcissus had a huge impact on me when I first saw it. I'm now enjoying the current BBC adaptation. It's possible to do both, believe it or not.
— AnnieEmGee (@Anniebell32) December 27, 2020
Aisling Franciosi, Alessandro Nivola, Rosie Cavaliero, Patsy Ferran, Karen Bryson and Dipika Kunwar also star.
Black Narcissus continues tomorrow (December 28) at 9pm on BBC One.
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