Mark Gatiss Is Adapting M.R. James' 'The Mezzotint' as a Christmas Ghost Story for the BBC

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Mark Gatiss is adapting M.R. James' The Mezzotint as a Christmas ghost story for the BBC.

This will be the fourth Christmas ghost story that Sherlock co-creator and Doctor Who writer Gatiss has written and directed for the BBC, following Martin’s Close in 2019, The Dead Room in 2018, The Tractate Middoth in 2013, and Crooked House in 2008.

The Mezzotint, a short ghost story first published in 1904, centers on a picture of an English country house acquired by Williams, a London university lecturer. Over time, a figure in the picture that Williams initially can't see appears to be changing in an increasingly disturbing way.

Gatiss said in a BBC press release: "It's delightful to be bringing a little seasonal unease to the nation once again and this famous M.R. James story is just the ticket. We’ve assembled a top-notch team to bring this eerie mystery — and a certain enigmatic old picture — to life."

Rory Kinnear will stars as Williams, leading a cast that includes Robert Bathurst (Downton Abbey), Frances Barber (Doctor Who), John Hopkins (Poldark), Emma Cunniffe (Unforgotten), Nikesh Patel (Indian Summers), and Tommaso Di Vincenzo (Dracula).

Gatiss has already finished shooting the 30-minute adaptation and it will premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer during this year's Christmas holidays. There's no word yet on a U.S. broadcast, but given the talent involved, it's surely only a matter of time.

Are you looking forward to Mark Gatiss' adaptation of The Mezzotint?