Jamie Dornan brooding in the wild Irish countryside. Two examples of natural beauty beyond compare, brought together in one TV show. OK call me biased, I am. Anyhow, Death And Nightingales has been a serious hit thus far on the Beeb, and is not only gripping AF, but also a pretty good boost for the Irish tourism board. Not since Game Of Thrones began has there been such a brilliant, and subterfuge-filled presentation of the wild Irish countryside. However, will there be a Death And Nightingales season 2?
Well, I could dilly dally and tease the heck out of you but I was raised right and that isn't my vibe. In short, it's a no. The TV show is in fact a mini series, so you will get your start, middle, and ending all in one go. I know, that is kind of sad but guys also, it means you don't have to deal with any crazy stress-hives-inducing cliff hangers and/or drama re waiting for the next season. Oh thanks BBC y'all are the best.
The mini series is based on the book by Irish writer Eugene McCabe and is set in the border counties of Ireland during a very tense time in Irish history. And if you haven't watched it yet, fear thee not, it is on BBC iPlayer as we speak so you can catch up to your heart's content. Lit.
OK so the book on which the show is based was written way back when in 1992. It is a dark as can be period drama set in 19th century Northern Ireland, and it has an all too familiar narrative of conflict caused by British colonialism, namely civil war between the South and North of Ireland.
Beth Winters, played by Anne Skelly, is a young woman whose life is incredibly sad and lonely. As she approaches her 25th birthday she decides enough is e-bloody-nough and is all like "I'm gonna split this popsicle stand". OK, I am being ever so slightly flippant, it is actually a lot darker than that.
Beth's life is largely awful owing to her wicked (not wicked in a cute way) step father Billy Winters, who is played by Matthew Rhys. Enter stage left a brooding, dark, mysterious, and bodice-rippingly dishy Liam Ward, played by Jamie Dornan, who just might persuade her to leave the life she knows behind for good.
The book has been adapted for screen and directed by Allan Cubitt, who is you might remember from his work on the hit show The Fall, which also starred Dornan, as well as Gillian Anderson (swoon). Speaking to The Guardian, he described the story as it is "...a revenge tragedy, rather than a psychological thriller." Cubitt also discussed the story's setting and how it was written during the important period of Irish history known as "The Troubles"
"Eugene wrote it in 1992 against the backdrop of the Troubles, so it feels both a powerful historical story and a very contemporary one. It has complex characters, powerful themes and a clash within social spheres, and that was what appealed to me. It’s a proper serious piece with serious themes."
The timing of a book that was written during The Troubles, about a time of political unrest — seems very timely considering the current issues that Ireland is facing.
The finale of Death And Nightingales airs Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 9 p.m. on BBC Two, so you have time to catch up on the first two ahead of time on iPlayer.