Overview

BBC AMERICA’s new original mini-series, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, is set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England where magic once existed and is about to return. So begins a dangerous battle between two great men. Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, The World’s End), Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel (Restless, Matilda), Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, Easy Virtue) and Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa, Beautiful Creatures) star in the seven-part mini-series, which has been adapted from Susanna Clarke’s bestselling novel by Peter Harness (Wallander, Doctor Who) and directed by Toby Haynes (Sherlock, Doctor Who). Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell premieres Saturday, June 13, 10:00pm ET on BBC AMERICA.

1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation’s past. However, scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains – the reclusive and skillful Mr Norrell (Marsan). His displays of magic soon thrill the nation. In London, he raises the beautiful Lady Pole (Englert) from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French.

Soon the cautious and fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange (Carvel). While trying to secure his beloved Arabella’s (Riley) hand in marriage, he meets a vagabond, the magician of Threadneedle Street, Vinculus (Paul Kaye, Game of Thrones, Stella), who tells him he is destined to be a great magician. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very antithesis of Norrell. A dangerous battle ensues between the two great men. Their obsessions and secret dabbling’s with the dark arts will cause more trouble than they can imagine.

The cast includes Marc Warren (The Good Wife, Hustle) as The Gentleman, Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond) as Sir Walter Pole, Enzo Cilenti (Prisoners Wives, Rome) as Childermass and Ariyon Bakare (The Dark Knight, Dancing on the Edge) as Stephen Black.

The producer is Nick Hirschkorn (Five Children and It) and the series is produced by Cuba Pictures Limited in association with Feel Films for BBC and co-produced with BBC AMERICA in association with Attraction Images for Bell Media, Far Moor Productions Ltd and Screen Yorkshire. The series was filmed in Yorkshire, Canada and Croatia.

Executive producers are Nick Marston, Dixie Linder and Tally Garner for Cuba Pictures, Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin for Far Moor, Matthew Read for the BBC and Toby Haynes.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is part of BBC AMERICA’s drama slate which includes original series Broadchurch, Orphan Black, Luther and Ripper Street as well as new series London Spy and The Last Kingdom.

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Episode Guide

The Friends of English Magic

1806. Magic once existed in England but it has long faded – that is until the reclusive Mr Norrell is discovered in Yorkshire. He comes to London to offer the government his services as a magician – but rising politician Sir Walter Pole refuses to align himself with such a disrespectable art. Disconsolate at his lack of success, Mr Norrell is set to return home, until news comes of the death of Sir Walter’s sickly, and wealthy, fiancée. Mr Norrell makes a dangerous pact with a mysterious Gentleman to restore her to life, proving magic respectable and establishing himself as the greatest magician in the land. Meanwhile, the charming and dissolute Jonathan Strange, more interested in drinking wine and winning the hand of the beautiful Arabella than reading dusty magical books, discovers he too has magical powers.

How is Lady Pole

Mr Norrell’s magical illusions baffle the French Navy and win him the loyalty of Sir Walter Pole, but the magic he performed to revive Lady Pole has released something unnatural into Sir Walter’s home – a mysterious unseen Gentleman with thistledown hair. Jonathan Strange’s magical ability grows, and he comes to London take up an apprenticeship with Mr Norrell. But Norrell is reluctant to share his knowledge and refuses to teach Strange the ancient magic of the legendary Raven King. Later the two magicians are called to rescue a stricken ship. Meanwhile the Gentlemen has appeared to and enchanted Sir Walter’s impressive butler. Each night Stephen Black is drawn to an attic door that leads him to the mansion of Lost-hope, where he discovers Lady Pole trapped in an endless waltz.

The Education of a Magician

Jonathan Strange accesses ancient and troubling magic as he fights the Napoleonic armies, while Mr Norrell battles to keep his secrets hidden.

All the Mirrors of the World

Norrell’s refusal to let Strange study disrespectable magic causes a split between them, while, unbeknownst to them, the Gentleman has a plan to enchant Arabella.

Arabella

Strange returns from Waterloo expecting a peaceful life, but the Gentleman steals Arabella away. Thinking her dead, Strange confronts Norrell about the magic used to resurrect Lady Pole.

The Black Tower

Strange drives himself insane and learns that Arabella is alive, held captive by the Gentleman. When the Gentleman places him under a powerful curse, Strange returns magic to England.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Strange and Norrell join forces to summon the Raven King and defeat the Gentleman. But nothing goes as planned. The prophecy of the Raven King means Jonathan and Arabella may never be reunited.

Cast Members

Mr Norrell

(EDDIE MARSAN)

Mr Norrell is an intellectual, reclusive, fussy man in his fifties. Self-proclaimed as England’s greatest and only magician, he resides in Yorkshire at Hurtfew Abbey, a dark, brooding house with a beautiful magical library. With a little help from Childermass, his cunning and surly man of business, he restores magic in England, and is encouraged to help the government in the war against Napoleon.

Jonathan Strange

(BERTIE CARVEL)

Jonathan Strange is from Shropshire – a handsome and daring man in his thirties. He is struggling to find his occupation and still living with his father – a crabby old man named Laurence. Desperate to win the hand of his beloved Arabella, he grasps at the opportunity of becoming a magician, after a chance encounter with Vinculus, the magician of Threadneedle Street.

Arabella

(CHARLOTTE RILEY)

Arabella is a strong-willed and patient woman who also lives in Shropshire, where her brother Henry is the rector at the local parish. Pursued by the charming Jonathan Strange, she soon becomes the wife of the self-taught magician, and becomes tangled in magical happenings.

Sir Walter Pole

(SAMUEL WEST)

Sir Walter Pole is a charismatic, impressive politician in his forties. He is concerned for his fiancée, the future Lady Pole, who is very sick. He lives in London where his butler, Stephen Black, is very much in charge of the Pole household. After initially dismissing the notion that Mr Norrell can help the war, he soon becomes an advocate of English magic.

Lady Pole

(ALICE ENGLERT)

Emma Wintertowne is 19 years-old and soon to become Lady Pole. Sadly the beautiful and intelligent young woman is very sick and passes away just before her marriage to Sir Walter Pole. Mr Norrell agrees to perform a very dangerous spell to raise her back from the dead, not foreseeing the dangerous consequences on her future existence.

The Gentleman

(MARC WARREN)

The Gentleman with the thistle-down hair is a faerie spirit summoned by Mr Norrell to help with the spell he performed to restore Lady Pole’s life. Always susceptible to the charms of an elegant woman, he cunningly devises a contract with Mr Norrell, which has terrible consequences for the Pole household and beyond…

Videos

Production Credits

Mr Norrell                            

Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, The World’s End)

Jonathan Strange

Bertie Carvel (Restless, Matilda)

Arabella                                

Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, Easy Virtue)

Sir Walter Pole

Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond)

Lady Pole                              

Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa, Beautiful Creatures)

The Gentleman

Marc Warren (The Good Wife, Hustle)

Childermass                         

Enzo Cilenti (Prisoners Wives, Rome)

Vinculus                                

Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Stella)

Stephen Black

Ariyon Bakare (The Dark Knight, Dancing on the Edge)

Writer                                   

Peter Harness (Wallander, Is Anybody There?)

Producer                              

Nick Hirschkorn (Five Children and It)

Director                                

Toby Haynes (Sherlock, Wallander, Doctor Who)

Executive Producer            

Matthew Read (BBC)

Executive Producer            

Nick Marston (Cuba Pictures)

Executive Producer            

Dixie Linder (Cuba Pictures)

Executive Producer            

Tally Garner (Cuba Pictures)

Executive Producer            

Justin Thomson-Glover (Far Moor)

Executive Producer                        

Patrick Irwin (Far Moor)

Executive Producer            

Toby Haynes

Press Releases

  • BBC AMERICA’s New Original Seven-Part Mini-Series Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Premieres June 13 - May 6, 2015
  • Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel Cast in BBC AMERICA’s New Drama Series Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - October 24, 2013
  • BBC AMERICA To Co-produce Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - April 8, 2013
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