Once upon a time, every new drama that landed on our TV screens was either a hospital or crime-based show. Then came the apocalypse – zombie, or otherwise. These things move in waves, and since Downton Abbey began enjoying runaway success, producers have been commissioning more and more period dramas. We will soon be watching David Duchovny in the Manson-tracking drama Aquarius, and Clive Owen in Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick. The trend looks set to continue, too, with news that Joseph Fiennes will take the role of Nostradamus in a forthcoming episodic production.
The project – which comes from a partnership between Downton Abbey producers Carnival Films and True Detective producers Anonymous Content – will also feature Fiennes as producer. Micahel Boccacino is writing the hour long drama series, which will focus on the infamous visionary as he works toward avenging the murder of his family.
An apothecary and author by trade, Nostadamus achieved notoriety in 16th century France by publishing collections of prophecies that have since brought him many followers. Believers of his work claim he predicts major world events, while sceptics generally argue that connections are vague and tenuous at best. Either way, Fiennes will apparently portray him as a brooding character – self-destructive and plagued by terrible visions. The setting certainly lends itself to high drama – taking place within the age of a troubled French Royal Court. It is against this backdrop that the complex Nostradamus will be seen to indulge his plentiful appetites, along with his desire for revenge.
The detail certainly hints at the project having more of an essence of The Tudors, than Downton Abbey. With both of those period dramas having been wildly successful, however, the creative team behind Nostradamus must be predicting great things for their new production. As ever, we will bring you more details as and when we have them.