The dystopian novel, written by George Orwell, was published in 1949, and sees Smith come up against Big Brother, the potentially-fabricated symbol of dictatorship, which keeps its eyes on the population of Oceania.
The two-part Radio 4 adaptation will form part of a season celebrating Orwell, The Real George Orwell, and will sit alongside dramatisations of Animal Farm (which features The Long Game’s Tamsin Greig and the Dream Lord from Amy’s Choice, Toby Jones) and Down and Out in Paris and London.
Orwell actually worked for the BBC, and based the torture chamber in Nineteen Eighty-Four, a place called Room 101, on a meeting room in the Broadcasting House. He famously said the BBC was like:
A cross between a girls’ school and a lunatic asylum.
Eccleston will star opposite Pippa Nixon (The Bill; John Carter) and The Claws of Axos and The Masque of Mandragora actor, Tim Piggott-Smith (Spooks; Downton Abbey). Interestingly, Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, has also played the book’s ‘everyman,’ Winston Smith, as did silver screen Dr Who, Peter Cushing in a 1954 TV adaptation by Nigel Kneale.
Nineteen Eighty-Four starts on BBC Radio 4 on 10th February.
(Via The Telegraph.)