The story is set in an alternate world where black people are the ruling class, and Africans had made Europeans their slaves. Now there is segregation and interracial love is forbidden. Sephy is a ‘Cross’ and the daughter of a prominent politician; Callum is a ‘Nought’, a white member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood but that’s as far as it can go, for Noughts and Crosses must never fall in love. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and powerful rebellion mounting on the streets, a passionate romance builds between Sephy and Callum which will lead them both into terrible dangerDivided by their colour but united by forbidden love and burning injustice, Sephy and Callum are fighting for more than simply the right to be together, in a State where strict race laws make daily existence a matter of life and death.
The series will be written by Levi David Addai (My Murder, Youngers) with Matthew Graham (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes).
Former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman commented, “I am beyond thrilled that Noughtsand Crosses will be dramatised by the BBC – it couldn’t have found a better home. Callum and Sephy seem to have meant a lot to readers over the years and I’m excited at the prospect of watching them on my tv!”
Levi David Addai added, “I’m honoured to be trusted with bringing Malorie Blackman’s superb novel to a BBC One audience. It’s a powerful story drawing on themes of hope, love and identity, set in a brilliantly conceived world that makes us think again about our own.”
Preethi Mavahalli, Executive Producer for Mammoth Screen said: “Noughts and Crosses is a thought-provoking, landmark work of contemporary British fiction. We’re immensely excited to be bringing this gripping story to life; Malorie’s book series has a huge fan base, and the themes of the book are more relevant than ever.“
The series was announced at the Edinburgh Televison Festival by director of BBC Content Charlotte Moore as part of a new raft of programming designed to “reflect the diversity of modern Britain”.