The Burning Girls: release date, cast, plot, trailer, interviews and all about the tense thriller

The Burning Girls on Paramount Plus sees Samantha Morton and Ruby Stokes play mother and daughter.
The Burning Girls on Paramount Plus sees Samantha Morton and Ruby Stokes play mother and daughter. (Image credit: Paramount+)

The Burning Girls is a chilling Paramount Plus thriller series based on the famous novel by author CJ Tudor. Its lead cast are Fantastic Beasts actor Samantha Morton plus Bridgerton and Lockwood & Co star Ruby Stokes who play a mother and daughter looking for a fresh start in a small insular British village called Chapel Croft. But the strange community has secrets of its own and uncovering the truth about its bloody past proves to be pretty deadly. 

“I was immediately drawn to this character-led script, brought to life by a wonderfully talented and dedicated cast,” says Samantha Morton, who plays single mum and vicar Reverend Jack Brooks. “On the surface The Burning Girls is about community, but underneath it’s every man for themselves. Untangling this intricate web was an absolute thrill.” 

Ruby Stokes adds: “It was a pleasure working with such a talented and dedicated cast and crew,” adds  who stars as Jack’s 15-year-old daughter, Flo. “A personal highlight; playing opposite Sam whom I greatly admire.” 

So here’s everything you need to know about the spine-chilling series The Burning Girls on Paramount Plus…

There's plenty of terror in The Burning Girls.

There's plenty of terror in The Burning Girls. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Are you ready for the frights?

Are you ready for the frights? Two girls are being burnt at the stake 500 years ago. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

The Burning Girls release date

The Burning Girls is a six-part series launched on Paramount Plus on Thursday October 19 2023. 

You can watch the first episode of The Burning Girls in the UK on Channel 5 on Sunday October 29 at 10pm, although you'll have to tune into the remaining five episodes on Paramount Plus.

* Paramount Plus price: cost, deals and content for the streaming service.

* Sign up for Paramount Plus here.

There are huge traumas ahead in The Burning Girls this October.

The Burning Girls poster. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

 Is there a trailer for The Burning Girls? 

Yes an official trailer and teaser trailer for The Burning Girls have been released by Paramount Plus and it's looking to be very intense. Take a peek at both below...

The Burning Girls plot 

The Burning Girls follows Reverend Jack Brooks (Samantha Norton) is a single parent to her teenage daughter Flo and bears the brunt of her husband’s death. She’s haunted by a tragedy from her previous church, so moves to Chapel Croft for a new start. But the village is steeped in its gruesome history, beginning 500 years ago when Protestant martyrs, including two young girls, were betrayed and burnt at the stake. 

Thirty years ago two teenage girls vanished from the village without a trace and then, a few weeks before Jack arrived, the vicar of the local parish hanged himself in the nave of the church. The community is rife with conspiracies and Jack soon learns that uncovering its secrets is a dangerous game. And the more she and Flo learn about Chapel Croft’s past, the more they are drawn into its age-old rifts, mysteries and deadly truths.

There's a bonfire of terror in The Burning Girls.

There's a bonfire of terror in The Burning Girls. (Image credit: Paramount+)

The Burning Girls cast — Samantha Morton on playing Rev. Jack Brooks

Samantha Morton plays Jack Brooks, a vicar and single mum who wants to find peace in her new home.  Here Samantha tells us much more...

" Jack’s a very modern vicar – not unlike The Vicar of Dibley or Kate Bottley. The fact that she’s been an inner-city vicar is quite important, I think – Jack has worked in some tough communities. It wasn’t her choice to be sent to Chapel Croft, but because of her relationship with God, she asks Him, ‘OK, what is it you want me to do?’ She thinks there must be a reason why she’s been sent here.

"As a mother [Samantha has three children], the relationship between Jack and Flo was really interesting and I wanted to explore it. Jack is a widow, which is a really key point to my character. I was a single mum up until my [eldest] daughter [Hanna star Esmé Creed-Miles] was about five, and I remember that bond between mother and child is really intense, so I was fascinated by that.

"Everyone’s super-happy when Jack arrives in the village! Apart from Simon Harper — a snobby villager, played by Sherlock’s Rupert Graves - and that’s just because she’s a woman. And Aaron Marsh [the church warden, portrayed by My Policeman star David Dawson] isn’t as welcoming, but he’s weird anyway!

"I’m really into theology. I’m Irish-Polish, raised Catholic, so I’m quite religious as a person. I’ve never played a vicar before, and there was something really interesting about that, as well as this idea of childhood trauma affecting your modern-day life.

"I work with the NSPCC and other children’s charities, and I’ve also worked with the World Health Organization as an ambassador to try to eradicate violence against children. So when I read the script, I realised this was an opportunity to be involved in a show that has key points I’m truly passionate about."

"I grew up watching films like The Omen and The Exorcist, so this is a genre I love. People were surprised when I went into The Walking Dead [Samantha played villain Alpha in the US horror drama], but I love zombie films! So I have all that background anyway. What I’ve loved about working with [director] Kieron Hawkes is that you’ve got all of that, but he focuses on the reality. This is about character. 

"Filming has been intense every day. You look at the script and go, ‘OK, this is a scene where she’s just walking to the vicarage’. But, actually, in every scene Jack is carrying the weight of a lot of secrets and that’s really heavy. But the crew have been the nicest, most supportive, amazing team. I’m very proud of everyone, but, yes, I’m absolutely shattered!"

* Samantha Morton is perhaps best known for her show-stealing turn as Agatha in the movie Minority Report but she’s starred in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Walking Dead, I Am Kirsty, The Sandman, Band of Gold, Rillington Place and Harlots. Samantha had a busy year in 2022, starring in The Whale, Save the Cinema, She Said and The Serpent Queen.

Samantha Morton as vicar Jack.

Samantha Morton as vicar Jack Brooks searching her church. (Image credit: Paramount+)

Ruby Stokes on playing Flo 

Ruby Stokes plays Flo, Jack’s teenage daughter who dances to her own tune. 

Ruby says: "Flo’s very creative and an introvert. She loves her friends and her mum, and values people’s time and energy. She has this old film camera that used to belong to her dad. She never really knew him, as she was only a year old when he died, so this camera is the only piece of him she has.
"The bond between Jack and Flo falters throughout the series, but that’s like any parent-child relationship. They talk to each other quite openly, but as the story grows wider and larger, their relationship grows further apart because Jack can’t emotionally be there for Flo in the same way she was before they moved to the village."
Flo finds a love interest in local teenager Lucas Wrigley, played by Peaky Blinders star Conrad Khan.
She finds him having a wee in an outhouse!" says Ruby. "He disarms her with his vulnerability and charm, and stirs up all her teenage emotions. Conrad is lovely, but Wrigley isn’t always very nice – it was really fun to play that story out.
"What drew me to The Burning Girls is there are lots of characters, which creates a huge opportunity to constantly explore the relationships and dynamics between them. On the surface, it’s a community, but underneath, everyone’s in it for themselves…"

* Ruby Stokes is the star of supernatural series Lockwood & Co. in which she plays ghost-hunter Lucy Carlyle. She also plays Francesca Bridgerton in Bridgerton and has starred in A Banquet, Rocks, Una, Da Vinci’s Demons and Not Going Out

Ruby Stokes as Flo.

Ruby Stokes playing Flo. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Who else is starring in The Burning Girls? 

In The Burning Girls, Conrad Khan (Peaky Blinders) plays Lucas Wrigley, a mysterious teen who Flo befriends. David Dawson (My Policeman) plays the church warden Aaron Marsh and Rupert Graves (Sherlock) plays village super-snob Simon Harper.

Other cast include EastEnders and Holby City star Paul Bradley, Janie Dee (Official Secrets), Jane Lapotaire (Macbeth), John Macmillan (House of the Dragon), Elodie Grace Orkin (Stranger Things), Safia Oakley-Green (Sherwood), Beth Cordingly (Funland) and Jack Roth (Britannia) and Mollie Holder (Sanditon). 

David Dawson as creepy church warden Aaron Marsh

David Dawson as creepy church warden Aaron Marsh (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Jack confronts the village super-snob (Rupert Graves).

Jack confronts the village super-snob Simon Harper (Rupert Graves). (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Conrad Khan as Lucas Wrigley.

Conrad Khan as Lucas Wrigley. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Behind the scenes and more on The Burning Girls

Based on the novel The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor the six-parter has been adapted by Hans Rosenfeldt (Marcella, The Bridge). This Paramount+ original series is executive produced by Richard Tulk-Hart and Tony Wood alongside Tudor and Rosenfeldt. Series directors include Charles Martin (Skins, Wallander) and Kieron Hawkes (Intergalactic, Ripper Street).

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Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.

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