Here we go! After what has felt like a total age, we’ve got our first look at BBC One’s forthcoming adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s cult novel series, Noughts & Crosses. Is it what your younger self first imagined when reading Blackman’s beloved dystopian novellas way back in the early 00s?
The story begins in an alternative universe (London, Albion) where a dystopian society is divided into the ‘Noughts’ – the white underclass – and the ‘Crosses’ – the black ruling class. We meet Sephy, a Cross and daught of a politician, and Callum, a Nought, who have been friends since childhood. Though their love and care for each other grows into romance, they are divided by society’s rules about interracial relationships. Forced to keep their relationship a secret, they must also navigate a society where rebellion against the racist politics is growing.
In the first trailer released, we’re met with a sign that reiterates the law forbidding relationships between Noughts and Crosses, cutting to Callum and Sephy in a desperate, passionate embrace. Across the 47-clip, we see the society descending into more turbulent times as rebellion against the laws and norms bubbles over. There’s also a very quick cameo shot of Stormzy in his guest role. “In this world, love is never black + white”, says the ending text.
It’s been two years since the cast was first confirmed – Jack Rowan (who you may have seen in Peaky Blinders) plays Callum McGregor, with Masali Baduza making her major onscreen debut as Sephy Hadley. Stormzy is also set to appear, playing newspaper editor Kolawale, a character created for the TV adaptation.
The series will premiere on BBC One on March 5. Watch the staggering trailer below.