Charles Dickens died half way through writing The Mystery of Edwin Drood , and ever since speculation has been rife as to how the tale might have unfolded. For this intriguing two-part adaptation for BBC2, for prime-time January 2012, acclaimed screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes ( Five Days and Miss Austen Regrets ) scoured the text for clues indicating how the great author might have finished this masterpiece, and has drawn from those leads a seamless, compelling and surprisingly modern story of obsessive love, betrayal and murder. This tie-in edition of Dickens' unfinished text will also include an Afterword by Gwyneth Hughes, offering her own conclusion, and revealing how she knitted the strands from the original plot and her own work together to bring the book to a satisfying close. Key cast list includes: Matthew Rhys ( Brothers & Sisters ) as John Jasper; Rory Kinnear ( Hamlet , Women In Love , and Lennon Naked ) as Reverend Septimus Crisparkle; Freddie Fox ( Worried About The Boy and The Shadow Line ) as Edwin Drood; Tamzin Merchant ( Jane Eyre , Miranda , and The Tudors ) plays Rosa Bud; Alun Armstrong ( New Tricks and Garrow's Law ) as Hiram Grewgious, Rosa's guardian; Julia McKenzie ( Cranford and Miss Marple ) plays the Reverend's mother, Mrs Crisparkle; David Dawson ( Luther and The Road To Coronation Street ) as Bazzard; Ron Cook ( Little Dorrit ) as Durdles; Sacha Dhawan ( Five Days 2 ) as Neville Landless; Amber Rose Revah ( House Of Saddam ) plays Helena Landless, Neville's twin sister; Ian McNeice ( Doctor Who ) as Mayor Sapsea; Janet Dale ( Holby and Casualty ) as Miss Twinkleton; Ellie Haddington ( Luther ) as Princess Puffer; and, young Alfie Davis plays Deputy.
Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812. He enjoyed his first commercial success with The Pickwick Papers in 1836, swiftly followed by the serialization of Oliver Twist a year later. By the publication of The Old Curiosity Shop in 1841, Dickens was internationally famous. The Mystery of Edwin Drood was scheduled to be published in 1870 in 12 installments but Dickens had finished only 6 installments at the time of his death. His novels, many now adapted for TV and film, continue to entertain readers all over the world.