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BBC announces international thriller The Three

BBC One has commissioned The Three, a multi-stranded, international eight-part thriller with a supernatural twist, based on the trilogy of books by Sarah Lotz.

Four planes crash on the same day in four different countries. Three children miraculously survive.

Elspeth Martin, a no-nonsense crash investigator with the NTSB in Washington, is under pressure to find out what caused the crashes. A rationalist, she is dogged in her determination to get at the truth, but this process is obstructed by conflicting evidence, media scrutiny and conspiracy theories.

Then there are rumours that a fourth child has survived one of the crashes, and a mysterious message is discovered on a passenger’s mobile phone.

At the heart of the story are the three surviving children – ‘The Three’: Bobby in New York, Jess in England and Hiro, a Japanese boy who has become selectively mute. They are six or seven years old and all seem strangely changed by what has happened to them.

Elspeth’s journey to discover the truth takes her across four continents – to the townships of South Africa, the Florida swamps, the depths of the Atlantic and the notorious Aokigahara ‘suicide forest’ in Japan. It’s a journey that will utterly change her and force her re-evaluate her everything she believes in…

Sarah Lotz’s novels will be adapted by Golden Globe winner Peter Straughan (Wolf Hall, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, The Three will be executive produced by Kate Sinclair and George Faber for The Forge, and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC.

Author Sarah Lotz said, ‘I’m beyond thrilled that the BBC has chosen to green light the adaptation of The Three. Working with the brilliant Kate Sinclair and genius writer Peter Straughan on the project has been one of the highlights of my career, and I’m honoured and humbled that it’s in such creative, insightful and passionate hands.’

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said, ‘Peter Straughan’s adaptation of Sarah Lotz’s spine-chilling novel The Three is a unique and epic story which shifts shape as it unfolds – what begins as a tale of human tragedy becomes an international conspiracy thriller with a supernatural edge.’

Screenwriter Peter Straughan commented, “The Three looks at how fear and paranoia can affect society on a global level, while interrogating the effects of trauma on ordinary lives. Working on the project so far has been a fascinating journey, and I can’t wait to continue with our exciting team.’

Kate Sinclair, Executive Producer for The Forge, added, ‘When I first read Sarah Lotz’s stunning proposal for The Three four years ago, I knew in my gut she was brilliant, that it was so unique that I HAD to have it, and that I needed to get someone as truly extraordinary as the exceptional Peter Straughan to adapt it. What a complete joy to get this green light from the BBC and to be working so closely with such wonderful, talented folk.’

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