BBC The 39 Steps


I am glad to hear that the classic John Buchan book ‘The 39 Steps’ is to be made in to a TV drama for this Christmas, starring Spook’s Rupert Penry-Jones

Based on the classic novel by Scottish author John Buchan, and set in the build up to the First World War, The 39 Steps is a roller coaster action adventure, full of excitement, danger, fun and romance, starring Rupert Penry Jones (Burn Up, Spooks) as Richard Hannay.
The 39 Steps will be a one-off drama directed by James Hawes (Merlin). June 1914, London. Richard Hannay, recently returned from Africa, is bored and restless until he 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.

Producer Lynn Horsford says: “With this adaptation we wanted to stay faithful to the spirit and period of the book, but asked the writer Lizzie to feel free to re-imagine it for a modern audience more familiar with James Bond and Jason Bourne.

My personal take on the book was not a great one. I slated it as being full of impossible situations and the protagonist having an endless life experience and skills that could get him out of any situation. This was for a GCSE book report when I was 15, this was pure rebellion as i loved the book.

“Buchan has crafted such a thrilling adventure that still stands the test of time. The jeopardy is real and I can guarantee an edge-of-your-seat chase movie, perfect for all the family to watch at Christmas.”

The 39 Steps is a remarkable tale of an ordinary man who puts his country’s interests before his own safety. First published in 1915, John Buchan’s 19th novel, was an instant success.

Filming begins in September on location in Scotland. Further casting details will be announced.

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