Gemma Arterton's new BBC drama Black Narcissus receives mixed response after UK premiere

Chris Edwards
·4-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

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.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: Gemma Arterton reveals regret about her Quantum of Solace role

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.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

"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.

Black Narcissus also stars the late Dame Diana Rigg in her last role after passing away earlier this year, Harry Potter actor Jim Broadbent, and Bodyguard star Gina McKee.

Aisling Franciosi, Alessandro Nivola, Rosie Cavaliero, Patsy Ferran, Karen Bryson and Dipika Kunwar also star.

The three-part series is directed by first-time director Charlotte Bruus Christensen, who has previously worked as director of photography on movies such as The Girl On The Train and A Quiet Place.

Black Narcissus continues tomorrow (December 28) at 9pm on BBC One.

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