Barbadian British author Malorie Blackman’s critically and popularly acclaimed “Noughts and Crosses” series, which uses the setting of a fictional dystopia to explore racism, is to be adapted by Levi David Addai with Matthew Graham for a new BBC One series, produced by Mammoth Screen.
Summary of the young adult novel series reads: Sephy is a ‘Cross’, a member of the black ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. Callum is a ‘Nought’, a white member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood but that’s as far as it can go, for Noughts and Crosses must never fall in love. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and powerful rebellion mounting on the streets, a passionate romance builds between Sephy and Callum which will lead them both into terrible danger. Divided by their color, but united by forbidden love and burning injustice, Sephy and Callum are fighting for more than simply the right to be together, in a contemporary dystopian State where strict race laws make daily existence a matter of life and death.
The adaptation is based on the first book in the “Noughts and Crosses” series, which has won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades. The author, Malorie Blackman OBE, was the Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.
Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content, says: “‘Noughts and Crosses’ is the definitive book for a young adult audience and the perfect fit for BBC One. Superb, high octane compulsive storytelling set within an alternative history that explores really relevant themes about race, privilege and how we treat each other.”
Malorie Blackman says: “I am beyond thrilled that ‘Noughts and Crosses’ will be dramatized by the BBC – it couldn’t have found a better home. Callum and Sephy seem to have meant a lot to readers over the years and I’m excited at the prospect of watching them on my TV!”
Levi David Addai, who is adapting the book with Matthew Graham, commented: “I’m honored to be trusted with bringing Malorie Blackman’s superb novel to a BBC One audience. It’s a powerful story drawing on themes of hope, love and identity, set in a brilliantly conceived world that makes us think again about our own.”
The executive producers for Mammoth Screen are Preethi Mavahalli and Managing Director Damien Timmer.
The adaptation of “Noughts and Crosses” is part of an ambitious slate of “high quality” commissions made by BBC One, announced today.
To pick up a copy of the novel, click on the image above.