The Ink Factory Rebooting ‘Roald Dahl’s Tales Of The Unexpected’ For TV


EXCLUSIVE: The Ink Factory has successfully mined the library of John le Carré with The Night Manager and The Little Drummer Girl and it seems that the company is now looking do the same with acclaimed British author Roald Dahl.

I hear that Simon and Stephen Cornwell’s firm is rebooting Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected for TV and has set up a number of writers to work on the project. The company is working closely with the Roald Dahl Story Company on the project.

The series, originally produced by Anglia Television for British commercial broadcaster ITV between 1979 and 1988, told a different story each week with Dahl’s trademark sinister and comedic undertones with a twist at the end. Each episode was based on one of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda author’s short stories.

I gather that the new adaptation is unconnected to the ITV series and will be a completely original anthology adaptation of the source material.

Despite the low budget of the original series, Dahl, who introduced each episode, managed to attract A-list stars in the original including John Mills, Joan Collins, Janet Leigh, Derek Jacobi and Michael Gambon. The episodes were largely based in reality and did not include supernatural or sci-fi elements like shows such as The Twilight Zone.

Most of the episodes were set in the UK, although a number of later episodes were set in the U.S. In fact, Dahl had previously hosted a similar show, Way Out, for CBS in 1961.

The Ink Factory is now rebooting the show with a series of writers including The Little Drummer Girl writer Claire Wilson, who is also working on Sky and Cinemax drama Gangs of London; Plebs and The Wrong Mans writer Tom Basden; and newcomer Ella Hickson.

There is no broadcaster currently attached, but I’m sure it won’t be long before networks are lining up to get involved.

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