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'The Midwich Cuckoos' — release date, cast, plot, trailer and all you need to know

'The Midwich Cuckoos' stars Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley.
'The Midwich Cuckoos' stars Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley. (Image credit: Sky)

John Wyndham's creepy sci-fi novel The Midwich Cuckoos is being turned into an eight-part Sky One series by British writer David Farr, who adapted The Night Manager on BBC1 and penned Amazon Prime’s Hanna. Look out for Keeley Hawes and Max Beesely among the cast.

There’s a twist in this adaptation however. The original 1957 bestseller, which tells the story of a small English village where the women become pregnant by parasitic aliens, is being updated to the present day and relocated to a London commuter town. Here’s what we know so far about Sky One's all-new version of The Midwich Cuckoos

The Midwich Cuckoos release date...

This eight-part adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos will premiere on Sky One and Now TV some time in 2022. We’ll make sure we post the start date as soon as we know more. We'll also update with its American broadcaster and start date in due course.

More about this new adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos...

This stylish modern version of The Midwich Cuckoos is set in Midwich, a sleepy commuter belt town outside London, rather than the rural village of the novel. One September evening everyone in one part of the town suddenly falls unconscious without warning and for 12 hours no phones work and nobody can get into the blackout zone. 

When everything returns to normal, it’s discovered that every woman of childbearing age has become pregnant. They later give birth to a group of chillingly unusual children, known as ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’. Soon it's apparent these odd children have strange abilities. They end up dividing loyalties and threatening lives both within the town and beyond — and it needs a terrifying sacrifice in order to prevent them causing global catastrophe….

The Midwich Cuckoos cast including Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley...

There's a great cast for The Midwich Cuckoos. Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, Line Of Duty, It’s A Sin, The Durrells and Finding Alice) joins Max Beesley (The Outsider, Suits) who lead the line-up. Alongside them are Aisling Loftus (A Discovery of Witches), Ukweli Roach (Blindspot), Synnøve Karlsen (Last Night In Soho, Clique), Lara Rossi (Robin Hood), Lewis Reeves (I May Destroy You), Rebekah Staton (Raised by Wolves) and Anneika Rose (Line of Duty).

Keeley Hawes plays gifted psychotherapist Dr Susannah Zellaby who's drafted in help support those affected by the mysterious events at Midwich. Susannah’s  daughter Cassie (Synnøve Karlsen), is also one of those who has become pregnant and has deep concerns about who, or what, is behind the phenomenon.

Keeley says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Sky and the brilliant Ruth Kenley-Letts on David Farr’s superb adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos. I’m very much looking forward to working with the hugely talented Max Beesley and the amazing cast and I can’t wait to enter the strange and unsettling world of Midwich!”

Max Beesley plays local police officer DCI Paul Kirby who tries to maintain law and order in Midwich unaware that a terrifying force is building in the comfortable streets. The strange children eventually born are potential parasites who flourish under the very love and care that their families give them. Who are these children? Where did they come from and what do they want?

The Midwich Cuckoos star Keeley Hawes in Finding Alice

Keeley Hawes (here in Finding Alice) plays Dr Susannah Zellaby in The Midwich Cuckoos. (Image credit: ITV)

The Midwich Cuckoos crew… 

It's been revealed that Alice Troughton who took the helm of Baghdad Central and A Discovery of Witches will direct the series, but so far there’s been no confirmation about who’ll be starring in The Midwich Cuckoos. Thanks to his role in the post-apocalyptic series The Walking Dead, British actor Andrew Lincoln could be in the frame, while Gangs of London Sope Dirisu and Bafta-winner Wunmi Mosaku were recently seen creeping us out in the Netflix thriller His House. But don’t rule out Hanna star Emma Creed-Miles or Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode, who recently worked with Alice Troughton on A Discovery of Witches. We’ll update on casting as the news is revealed…

A brief guide to The Midwich Cuckoos author John Wyndham…

'The Midwich Cuckoos' author John Wyndham

'The Midwich Cuckoos' author John Wyndham. (Image credit: Getty)

British science fiction novelist John Wyndham wrote his most iconic work The Day of The Triffids in 1951 after spending World War Two as a firewatcher during the Blitz, a censor in the Ministry of Information and a member of the Home Guard. The story sees most of the world blinded by gazing at a meteor shower which then allows poisonous giant plants, the Triffids, to take over the planet. 

There was a 1963 film adaptation of The Day of Triffids starring Howard Keel (of Dallas fame), Nicole Maurey and Janette Scott, plus there’s a 1981 version by the BBC starring John Duttine. Then, in 2009, the BBC made yet another version of The Day of The Triffids starring Dougray Scott, Jason Priestley, Eddie Izzard and Joely Richardson.

John Wyndham is also known for his novels The Chrysalids, set in a post-nuclear dystopia, and The Kraken Wakes about a mysterious flood and attacks on shipping by creatures from the deep. His novel Chocky, which tells the story of an alien consciousness that communicates with the mind of a 12-year-old boy was written Wyndham wrote a year before his death in 1969. There was a TV adaptation of Chocky too, shown on ITV in 1984, and starring James Hazeldine and Carol Drinkwater.

The BBC's 1981 adaptation of 'The Day Of The Triffids' starring John Duttine.

The BBC's 1981 adaptation of 'The Day Of The Triffids' starring John Duttine. (Image credit: BBC)

How Village of The Damned provided two famous movie adaptations of The Midwich Cuckoos...

The Midwich Cuckoos was the inspiration for two movies, both titled Village Of The Damned. The eerie 1960 black and white version, directed by Wolf Rilla, starred George Sanders, Barbara Shelley and Laurence Naismith, with cinema-goers queuing round the block to see it. Then in 1995 the film (see our main picture) was given a Hollywood horror makeover by Halloween director John Carpenter and was set in North Carolina rather than England. It starred Superman actor Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley and Mark Hamill and featured a legion of alien children with glowing orange eyes and otherworldly powers. 

The 1960 British movie Village Of The Damned.

The 1960 British movie 'Village Of The Damned'. (Image credit: Alamy)

'The Midwich Cuckoos' was made into this 1995 movie Village Of the Damned

'The Midwich Cuckoos' was made into this 1995 movie Village Of the Damned. (Image credit: Alamy)

Is there a trailer for The Midwich Cuckoos?

It's too early for a trailer for The Midwich Cuckoos but we're expecting one to be released by Sky before the end of the year. We'll be sure post it as soon as it's ready.