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The Midwich Cuckoos show vs book: Main differences between the Sky drama and book

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The Midwich Cuckoos will be premiering on Sky Max on Thursday, June 2, with the boxset also available to watch on the streaming service NOW. Based on the original book of the same name by John Wyndham, The Midwich Cuckoos is a sci-fi drama whereby all of the town’s child-bearing aged women inexplicably fall pregnant. As these women give birth, Midwich begins to realise these children are unlike any other.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from The Midwich Cuckoos.

What are the main differences between the Sky series of The Midwich Cuckoos and the book?

In the original black and white movie of The Village of the Damned which is based on the novel, the lead role of Professor Gordon Zellaby was taken on by actor George Sanders.

He was there to query the goings-on in the village and to focus all of his attention on what the children got up to and what they could have planned.

This time around for Sky’s series adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos, the role of psychotherapist, Dr Susannah Zellaby, will be portrayed by actress Keeley Hawes.

She is best known for parts in shows such as Line of Duty, Spooks, Bodyguard and The Durrells.

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When speaking to Express.co.uk, writer David Farr explained that a major difference between the show and the novel is that the former comes more from a female perspective.

“It became really clear to me when I started to adapt it that there’s a big shift needed for a modern audience”, Farr said.

“The story is basically about women getting pregnant and yet, somehow, it’s so male as a book.

“So a big shift across from the male to the female started and, me being the writer is a bit weird of course, so female writers came on board.”

Farr continued: “And it was a conscious thing, we really wanted to find a director as well as a lead actress, as it was a male role, the Keeley Hawes one, that would enhance that.

“Then Alice [Troughton] came into the room just adoring John Wyndham and with that female gaze, without us even saying anything. It was completely front and centre of the ideas.

“It was a no-brainer, she was by far the best person we could have possibly chosen.”

The other main difference in this latest adaptation is to do with the disturbing children themselves.

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Director Alice Troughton added: “David [Farr] has a brilliant line, ‘love will kill you’, and it was very important for us that the mothers bonded with their children.

“They had the babies and gave birth and had this euphoric feeling of a newborn and that bond was pended on by the cuckoos in order for them to thrive.

“I think that was a really clever, brilliant updating of the story.

“There will be some accusations of wokism but I don’t think it’s that at all, it’s actually making it relevant to the political situation in the 21st century.”

The Midwich Cuckoos will also feature actor Max Beesley in the part of police officer DCI Paul Kirby who investigates the mysterious children.

Beesley has been in a number of popular TV shows and films over the years as well.

Some of which are Mad Dogs, Homeland, Suits, The Last Enemy, Ordinary Lies and Jamestown.

The Midwich Cuckoos will be available on Sky Max and streaming service NOW from Thursday, June 2.

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