'The Mezzotint' — everything we know about the BBC2 Christmas ghost story

The Mezzotint cast
Left to right: Nikesh Patel as Nisbet, Rory Kinnear as Williams and Robert Bathurst as Garwood (Image credit: BBC)

There are spooky goings on heading to BBC2 and iPlayer as The Mezzotint has been adapted into a standalone drama for a Christmas TV highlight.

The short ghost story, written by M.R. James more than 100 years ago, is renowned for leaving readers rattled, and now it has been turned into a gripping drama by Mark Gatiss, the writer behind Sherlock, The League of Gentleman and Dracula.

The Mezzotint is the latest offering from Mark following the success of Martin’s Close in 2019, The Dead Room in 2018, The Tractate Middoth in 2013 and Crooked House in 2008.

When is 'The Mezzotint' on? 

Filming has already wrapped on The Mezzotint and it will be aired on BBC2 and iPlayer this Christmas.

We are yet to get a confirmed date but will update this page as soon as it is announced.

The chilling drama will be a stand-alone half-hour episode and is set to be one of the highlights of Christmas TV 2021.

The Mezzotint Edward Williams

Edward Williams will be played by Rory Kinnear.  (Image credit: BBC)

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What is the plot for 'The Mezzotint'?

The Mezzotint is a chilling ghost story set in the heart of an old English college in 1922.

Edward Williams, a curator at a university art museum, receives an old engraving of an unknown country house that at first seems to be nothing more than an image of an imposing facade and a sweeping lawn.

But soon there are strange goings-on when things seem to move in the picture when no one is looking, and it becomes clear there is more to the image than first meets the eye.

Could it be that the sinister picture is somehow trying to tell Mr Williams something?

Who is in the cast for 'The Mezzotint'?

Rory Kinner, known for his role as Bill Tanner in the James Bond films No Time To Die, Quantum of Solace, Spectre and Skyfall takes the lead as Mr Williams. Rory recently played a neo Nazi in BBC1 drama Ridley Road.

The Mezzotint

Frances Barber will star as Mrs Ambrigail. (Image credit: BBC)

Cold Feet and Downton Abbey star Robert Bathurst will play the role of Garwood, and Frances Barber from Doctor Who and Semi-Detached will appear as Mrs Ambrigail.

The Mezzotint also stars Poldark's John Hopkins, Emma Cunniffe from Roadkill and Unforgotten, Four Weddings and a Funeral star Nikesh Patel, and Tommaso Di Vincenzo from Dracula.

Is there a trailer for 'The Mezzotint'?

Not yet, but we will add a trailer for The Mezzotint to this page as soon as it is released.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.