Spooks star Rupert Penry-Jones is to star in a new BBC One adaptation of John Buchan’s ‘The 39 Steps’.
The one-off drama, set in 1914, has been adapted by Lizzie Mickery who has been asked to “to re-imagine it for a modern audience more familiar with James Bond and Jason Bourne“ by producer Lynn Horsford.
Despite this the production team have promised the drama will be “faithful to the spirit and period of the book” which follows Richard Hannay, recently returned from Africa, who meets Scudder, a man who claims to be a British spy.
When Scudder is killed in Hannay’s flat, Hannay finds himself accused of murder and caught up in a deadly conspiracy which not only threatens his life but the safety of the nation.Spurred on by this bizarre turn of events, Hannay flees London for Scotland hoping to uncover a German espionage ring.
As the police and the spies close in on him, he struggles to decode Scudder’s secret notebook. Reluctantly he joins forces with a feisty suffragette, Victoria Sinclair. Victoria and Hannay don’t hit it off, but they find themselves increasingly reliant on each other as they race to unmask a traitor and save Great Britain from invasion.
Filming starts in Scotland next month for a BBC One Christmas broadcast.