Miniseries are back, if you haven’t noticed. The networks seem keen on the shorter form of story-telling these days and that includes The CW. The network announced this week that they’re set to air a four-hour miniseries event called Labyrinth, which stars John Hurt, Tom Felton, Sebastian Stan and Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown-Findlay. No premiere date has been set yet.
Lest you think for a second that Labyrinth has anything to do with the creepy 1986 movie starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, it doesn’t. It’s actually an adaptation of Kate Mosse’s New York Times Bestseller, which was published in 2005. And it's not an entirely original project, as the miniseries has already aired in Canada and overseas in 2012 and 2013, and now the CW’s getting it on the air stateside. Here’s the description:
In Carcassonne, France, in the year 1209, 17-year-old Alaïs (Jessica Brown-Findlay, “Downton Abbey,” “Misfits”), is given a mysterious book by her father; a book which he claims contains the secret of the true Grail. Although Alaïs cannot understand the book’s strange words and labyrinth symbols, her father instructs her to protect the book no matter what happens to him. Alaïs realizes that her destiny lies in keeping the secret of the labyrinth safe. Eight centuries later, at an archeological dig in the French Pyrenees, a young volunteer named Alice Tanner (Vanessa Kirby, “The Hour,” “Great Expectations”) discovers two skeletons in a forgotten cave. Puzzled by the labyrinth symbol carved into the rock, she realizes she’s disturbed something that was meant to remain hidden. Somehow, a link to a horrific past – Alice’s own past – has been revealed.
CW’s been dabbling with period pieces these days, with Reign among their current slate of original programming. They’ve also been in the market for adventure, with The 100 set to debut this winter. So this miniseries sounds like a good fit for the network. And it’s interesting to note that the CW isn’t excluding itself from the miniseries trend on network TV.
The cast alone is reason enough to take notice of this miniseries. Tom Felton and John Hurt have actually crossed paths before, as Felton’s best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, and fans might recognize Hurt for having played the wand-peddling Ollivander in the movies. Other notable credits for Hurt include V for Vendetta, Doctor Who and FX’s upcoming series The Strain. As for the females, Jessica Brown Findlay’s probably best recognized for playing the lovely lady Sybil in the first three seasons of Downton Abbey. Vanessa Kirby’s credits include About Time, The Hour and the upcoming Wachowski film Jupiter Ascending.
Here’s a look at the trailer that released when the miniseries aired on Channel 4 overseas: