The first trailer for Black Narcissus released back in September didn’t do much to convince us that the three-part limited series adaptation of the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden would be worth watching this winter instead of just revisiting 1947 movie from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. But now a new “first look” featurette dives a little more into the story and reveals some details about the making of the project starring Gemma Arterton. Check out the Black Narcissus featurette below.

Black Narcissus Featurette

In the 1930s, a convent of nuns moves into a remote palace in the Himalayas that was once used for rampant eroticism. There are secrets lurking around every corner, and the mysteries at the center of this foreboding place threaten to unravel the holiness of the nuns’ mission.

We also get to hear from some of the show’s cast, including Gemma Arterton as Sister Clodagh, sounding like she’s reading a rehearsed press release tidbit about the series. Thankfully, Aisling Franciosi as Sister Ruth offers a more natural impression of the series and her character, and Alessandro Nivola sings the praises of a specific crew member.

A chunk of the featurette focuses on the impressive work done by Kave Quinn, who acted as both the production designer and costumer designer for this project and brought plenty of authenticity to both departments. Though we’ve seen the series emulate several shots from the aforementioned 1947 movie, there’s at least one aspect that this series wanted to avoid replicating from the film. The palace from the movie was based on an actual Tibetan monastery, but the setting here is inspired by Indian palaces.

The rest of the cast includes Diana Rigg as Mother Dorothea, Jim Broadbent as Father Roberts, Rosie Cavaliero as Sister Briony, Karen Byson as Sister Philippa, Patsy Ferran as Sister Blance, Nila Aalia as Angy Ayah, Kulvinder Ghir as General Toda Rai, Chaneil Kular as Dilip Rai, Dipika Kunwar as Kanchi, Gina McKee as Sister Adela, Soumil Malla as Joseph Anthony, and Gianni Gonsalves as Srimati Rai.

Black Narcissus is directed by Charlotte Bruus Christensen with Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA TV executive producing along with Amanda Coe, who also serves as writer, and Lucy Richer for the BBC.

Black Narcissus is an FX limited series based on the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden. Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once known as the ‘House of Women’ holds many dark secrets. When the young nuns of St. Faith attempt to establish a mission there, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy.

During the latter years of British rule in India, ambitious young nun Sister Clodagh heads a mission to a remote part of the Himalayas. The palace of Mopu has been donated by General Toda Rai, who hopes the Sisters of St. Faith will rid the ‘House of Women’ of unhappy memories connected to his late sister, Srimati. Although Clodagh ignores the warnings of the General’s raffish agent Mr. Dean, isolation and illness soon take their toll, with the haunting atmosphere of the palace particularly affecting volatile Sister Ruth. As past and present collide, the arrival of the young General Dilip Rai is the catalyst for an explosion of repressed desires that may end in a fatal confrontation.

Black Narcissus will premiere all three of its episodes on FX on Monday, November 23, 2020 with the full series also available the following day on FX on Hulu. Black Narcissus will also air in the UK on BBC One in December.

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