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Noughts & Crosses : Everything you need to know

Fri, February 28th, 2020

It’s been nineteen years since the first Noughts & Crosses book hit the shelves of book shops, and now an adaption of the series is being brought to TV screens.

Finally, two years after the cast for the production was confirmed, we’ve now had a trailer to watch and confirmation that the series will start on 5th March 2020.

The award-winning series has been adapted by the BBC from Malorie Blackman’s critically acclaimed Young Adult novel series which tells a tragic tale of two lovers who are unable to be together due to the society in which they live. The story follows an alternative history where African people colonised Europe instead of Europeans colonising Africa.

In a dystopian vision of this fictional society, racism divides people based on the colour of their skin. People with dark skin are the ruling class while those with pale skin are  the underclass.

In this world, Crosses are those with darker skin and have been able to flourish in society with good jobs. They are able to access better education, get the top jobs, and earn more money.  Noughts, on the other hand, are those with pale skin and are highly discriminated against.

Society rules mean they are not able to get the same jobs as or be in relationships with Crosses.

The story follows the relationship between and a gripping story of love, set in this dangerous, alternate world and Cross Sephy Haldey’s relationship with Nought Callum McGreggor. The couple tries to hide their relationship at all times, as interracial friendships are frowned upon. The story has clear mirroring of the story in Romeo and Juliet, of forbidden love between two warring sides, love, and relationship that can not be out in the open because of conventions and society’s rules.

Is there a trailer for Noughts & Crosses? 

The first trailer for the TV adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s dystopian thriller Noughts & Crosses has been released and can be watched online (you can see it below). The exciting trailer gives us an idea of the storyline, drama, and introduces us to the charachters. There’s also the chance to see a new character that is not in the books and was created especially for the show and for rapper Stormzy to play.  See the trailer below. It looks epic!

When is Noughts & Crosses on TV? 

We’ve finally been given a release date and the series, which will have its premiere episode on March 5th on BBC One.

What’s the plot of Noughts & Crosses?

The TV adaption follows the relationship of Cross Sephy Haldey’s and Nought Callum McGreggor as adults. While the book series revolves around the friendship of the two as children, the TV series moves the story on.

During the books, Callum’s mum Meggie was Sephy’s nanny until she is fired, then later Callum and Sephy’s relationship as teenagers begins to flourish.

As the BBC series will focus more on the two characters’ lives as adults, it’s likely the storylines will be somewhat different in the series compared with the books.

The relationship between the two is set in the alternate world of segregation between black and white people. Despite the prejudice within this society and at the same time as a rebellion beginning to take place on the streets, romance blossoms between Callum and Sephy which puts them in grave danger.

Other differences from the books include that some characters have also been left out while some others have been introduced, such as Stormzy who plays a news editor.

Who is in the cast?

noughts & crosses

The series has a star-studded cast, including Stormzy, who will play Kolawale.

The rapper joins a star-studded cast, with the likes of Jack Rowan from Peaky Blinders, and Patterson Joseph from Peep Show also in the show. Newcomer Masali Baduza plays Sephy Hadley.

Cast details

  • Helen Baxendale as Meggie McGregor
  • Josh Dylan as Jude McGregor
  • Masali Baduza as Sephy Hadley
  • Jack Rowan as Callum McGregor
  • Ian Hart as Ryan McGregor
  • Stormzy as Kolawale
  • Shaun Dingwall as Jack Dorn
  • Kiké Brimah as Minerva Hadley
  • Paterson Joseph as Home Secretary Kamal Hadley
  • Bonnie Mbuli as Jasmine Hadley

According to the author of the series, Malorie Blackman, there is a change in perception within publishing and TV that diverse stories do make money and can be commercial successes, referencing films like Black Panther and Hidden Figures as proof to back up her point.

She believes that there is an audience out there that is desperate for new voices, and new content. She also hopes that the series will open up a greater discussion on racism within society.

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