Brand new BBC drama, The City and the City is starting on BBC Two this week.
The mind-bending series is adapted from the weird fiction novel often same name by China Miéville.
It follows a detective, Tyador Borlú (played by David Morrissey) who is investigating a crime in two cities – Besźel and UI Qoma.
There’s a catch though – while the cities are in the same geographical location, they are perceived as two separate locations and it is forbidden to even look at the other.
How to watch The City and the City online
Episode one of The City and the City will air on BBC Two this week.
It will be broadcast at 9pm on Friday, April 6.
Episodes will air weekly on Friday night for the next six weeks.
They will also be streaming on the BBC iPlayer shortly after their initial broadcast.
Episodes will drop weekly on the player and not in one go.
The series is produced by Mammoth Productions, who are responsible for other BBC series, Poldark and Ordeal By Innocence.
The City and the City BBC
Who is in the cast of The City and the City?
The cast is led by prolific English actor David Morrissey who has recently starred in Britannia and The Waking Dead.
Morrissey takes on the role of Inspector Tyador Borlú for The City and the City.
“So it is a fish out of water tale, it is a man who has to go into another city and abide by their rules even though he is not used to that,” he says.
Playing Borlú’s wife Katrynia is Lara Pulver of Electric Dreams fame.
“When I first read the scripts I was fascinated by how multi-layered Katrynia is as a character, she doesn’t feel like the same person in any scene and that is a gift but also a real challenge too,” she says.
Mandeep Dhillon in The City and the City
Mandeep Dhillon who has appeared in Doctor Who plays Constable Corwi, which she describes as her “dream role”.
“She is pretty extraordinary as a person, she has a very bad potty mouth and so she swears like no one’s business and she is very ballsy which I love about her,” she says.
Senior Detective Dhatt is played by German actress Maria Schrader.
Schrader describes her character as “powerful”.
“Dhatt is a high-ranking officer within the omnipresent and highly feared Ul Qoma Police and it would seem from the outset that she shares their beliefs as she executes commands without hesitation. However, it is her curiosity and her sense of justice that leads her to develop doubts,” she said.
Other cast members include Ron Cook as Commissar Gadlem and Dana Haqjoo as Detective Naustin.
David Morrissey and Maria Schrader
What will happen in the first episode of The City and the City?
A synopsis for episode one reads: “When the body of a young woman is found in the city of Besźel, Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad is called to investigate the murder alongside Officer Lizbyet Corwi.
“Although Detective Naustin presumes her murder can be easily explained, Borlú notices strange similarities to an old case.
“The young woman’s body was found at the Bulkya Docks – an area known for its close overlap with the city of Ul Qoma.
“Although Ul Qoma and Beszel occupy the same geographical space, the cities have a dangerous and volatile relationship with each other, and citizens are trained from childhood to unsee everything in the other city.
The City and the City on BBC
“Commissar Gadlem thinks this is a case for Breach – the secret police who ruthlessly patrol all cross-border crime. Gadlem thinks someone else should take on the case, and that maybe it’s too personal for Borlú… But Borlú insists he can handle it.
“Borlú receives a call from a friend of the dead girl, who identifies her as Mahalia Geary (Andrea Deck), an American student living in Ul Qoma.
“Yet Borlú starts to worry when the caller admits she is not phoning from Besźel, but that she is making an illegal cross-border call from Ul Qoma.
“When Gadlem discovers that Borlú received an illicit phone call, he passes the case onto the Oversight Committee. Gadlem thinks the case is getting too dangerous for Borlú to investigate alone and wants to invoke Breach.”
The City and the City airs on BBC Two on Friday, April 6 at 9pm.