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Free@Last’s Falcon takes flight

Nico Franks - C21 Media

UK indie Free@Last TV has picked up the rights to develop a drama series based on Daphne De Maurier’s classic noir novel The Flight of the Falcon.

Working in association with actor, filmmaker and screenwriter Christopher Villiers, the Agatha Raisin producer is developing a four-part TV series as an international coproduction.

The adaptation of the novel, which was first published in 1965, will be set in the present day. It will tell the story of a young English tour guide who, while escorting a group around Southern Italy, discovers a web of intolerance and hatred, fear and conspiracy in an ancient hilltop city.

“The Flight of the Falcon is set in a multinational university that is a microcosm of the European community as a whole. Will it crumble amid nationalistic tensions, or can the old city survive and learn to adapt and change?” said Villiers.

The show joins numerous other adaptations of du Maurier’s work, such as Jamaica Inn, The Birds, Don’t Look Now, My Cousin Rachel and the Lawrence Olivier classic Rebecca, which has been remade several times.

The producers of The Flight of the Falcon for Free@Last TV are Barry Ryan and David Walton, while Villiers will executive produce and adapt for 2020 Productions.

Free@Last TV is also adapting M.C Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth, The Charles Paris Mysteries and the Touch of Frost prequel First Frost. Its original drama productions include Lonely Boy: The Benny Hill Story and The Women.

Barry Ryan, joint MD and creative director at Free@Last TV, said: “Falcon is one of du Maurier’s lesser-known works, but no less powerful for that, and the time is right to bring it to a wider audience.”

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Barry Ryan