Big Tales for the Small Screen

Zee Cafe is bringing to India BBC’s screen adaptation of 11 literary classics.

Written by Saanthia Bulchandani | Published:June 24, 2017 1:08 am
top of the lake, second world war, zee cafe, top of the lake tv series, indian express A scene from the mystery drama series Top of the Lake

Imagine a world where Germany has emerged victorious in the Second World War and Britain is inhabited by the Nazis. And in this world, a Scotland Yard detective begins a murder investigation only to discover data on a British atomic bomb. First imagined by Len Deighton in his fiction titled SS-GB, this world will now be unveiled on Indian television through a screen adaptation of the classic. The series will premiere on Zee Cafe on June 26.

In a recent collaboration between the channel and BBC First, 11 new British dramas will be incorporated into Indian television. Each of classics picked up for an adaptation have been reimagined with a twist. For instance, Leo Tolstoy’s seminal 1,500-page War and Peace has been made into a story focusing on three characters, and their personal narratives of love, pride and envy.

There is also Fleming, based on the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, who was a lot like the spy himself. The drama encapsulates a man’s descent into the underworld of espionage during the second World War, and is not only thrillingly glamorous, but is also a true story.

With Patrick Ness’s Class, east London is invaded by aliens in a clash of eras and ideals. In Maigret, Rowan Atkinson, formerly known as Mr Bean, is a perceptive and shrewd detective in post-war Paris. He uses his understanding of the human condition to solve complex cases.The other dramas include New Blood, Doctor Foster, Top of the Lake, The Kettering Incident, Thirteen and From Darkness.

According to Julia Kenyon, the Director of Global Brands and Content Marketing at BBC Worldwide, these shows retain the “British DNA of storytelling” with their largely ethnic settings. “What makes these dramas timeless is that they bring emotions that cut across geographies and eras, making them timeless,”says Puneet Mishra, CEO, Zee Cafe.

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