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A brand new British revenge thriller is launching exclusively on BritBox in the UK.
The Beast Must Die, a modern adaptation of the classic murder mystery novel written some 80 years ago, tells the story of a grieving mother who infiltrates the life of the man she believes killed her son.
The script’s been adapted by Gaby Chiappe (Their Finest, Shetland, Vera) and boasts Chernobyl and The Crown star Jared Harris among its stellar cast.
From storyline to release date, here’s everything we know about The Beast Must Die.
When is The Beast Must Die released?
Five-part drama The Beast Must Die will be available exclusively on BritBox UK.
The first two episodes will be released on Thursday May 27.
New episodes will then be released weekly on the following three Thursdays.
Is there a trailer for The Beast Must Die?
BritBox have released a thrilling full trailer for the series.
Who’s in the cast of The Beast Must Die?
The cast of The Beast Must Die cast is led by Bafta-winner and Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actor Jared Harris (Chernobyl, The Crown, Mad Men). He is joined by Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife, Deadwater Fell), Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon, Witness For The Prosecution, On Chesil Beach) and Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Vanity Fair).
Additional cast members announced include Geraldine James, below (Back to Life, Anne with an E, Utopia), Maeve Dermody (Carnival Row, Marcella, The Frankenstein Chronicles) and newcomers Mia Tomlinson and Barney Sayburn.
What is The Beast Must Die about?
The Beast Must Die is based on the murder mystery novel of the same name, first published by Nicholas Blake - the pen name of poet Cecil Day-Lewis, father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis - in 1938.
At the moment, all we know about the plot of the five-part series is that it follows a grieving mother out for revenge.
However we do have the description of the novel to go by - although it’s not been confirmed at this stage how much of the source material was used by the show’s writer Gaby Chiappe as inspiration for the series.
According to Deadline.com, the novel "tells the story of how respected crime writer Frank Cairns plots the perfect murder but ends up working with a top detective to clear his name.
“Cairns intends to murder the hit-and-run driver who killed his young son but when his intended victim is found dead and Cairns becomes the prime suspect, the author insists that he has been framed.
"To solve the mystery, one of Cairns’ old friends calls in private detective Nigel Strangeways to help.”
Where is The Beast Must Die filmed?
The Beast Must Die started filming in and around the Isle of Wight at the end of August 2020.
The production had comprehensive Covid-19 protocols in place and is following strict social distancing guidelines, with all cast and crew required to wear masks at all times (except when cast are filming a scene).
The cast and crew were also tested routinely and had daily temperature checks and health screenings, while on- and off-set ‘pods’ ensured safe interaction on the production.
According to Isle of Wight news website IslandEcho.co.uk, specific filming locations on the island included a grand property on Love Lane in Bembridge; Culver Down near Sandown; and a section of waterfront at Norton Spit, Yarmouth.
In an interview with the Isle of Wight County Press, The Beast Must Die director Dome Karukoski said that the cast and crew are loving life on the island.
"After two weeks, the island has treated us well, we’ve gotten three seasons in one day," he said.
"We’ve gotten the sun, the wind, and I’ve been delivered grapes to my door by an unknown kind person who grows them.
"The crew is loving it, the actors are thinking about moving here and the local football team were kind enough to accept my son into their weekly football club. A very happy director here.”
The Beast Must Die season 2
The Beast Must Die has been so well-received that a second series has now been confirmed.
It will be called A Sword In My Bones and is based on a story created by The Beast Must Die screenwriter Gaby Chiappe.
Billy Howle is mooted to return as detective Nigel Strangeways.
He said: "I am thrilled by the reception to The Beast Must Die. A lot of hard work by all the cast and crew went into making the first original drama for BritBox, during a pandemic, and it seems to have paid off.
"I would relish the opportunity to take on the role of Strangeways again and am really excited by the prospect of this next chapter."
Will Harrison, managing director of BritBox UK, said: "We are all immensely proud of our first original, scripted drama and the reception it has received from critics and subscribers alike.
"We are working closely with our partners at Scott Free and New Regency to explore what may lie in store for Detective Strangeways."
Ed Rubin, head of New Regency Television International and Marina Brackenbury, executive producer at Scott Free UK, added: "We’re delighted by the response to The Beast Must Die and Billy’s towering performance leaves us with a really exciting opportunity to delve further into DI Strangeways in a compelling new story.
"Harnessing a similar emotional intensity and thriller pulse to season one; A Sword In My Bones will offer up even greater narrative scope, a terrific new cast of characters and a whole new cinematic setting."
Watch The Beast Must Die if you liked…
Vera, Shetland, Taboo, The Terror, The Night Manager, The Fall, Giri/Haji, Ozark.
The Beast Must Die will be available exclusively on BritBox UK from May 27, 2021.