John Hurt, one of Britain’s most esteemed and prolific actors starred as James Parkin, in Whistle And I’ll Come To You, the story of a man’s encounter with an apparition on a desolate British beach and how this haunting begins to hound him.
Whistle And I’ll Come To You, written by Neil and made by BBC Drama Production, is a modern adaptation of the evocative Edwardian ghost story Oh Whistle And I’ll Come To You, My Lad by M R James, which delves into themes of ageing, hubris and the supernatural, adding a terrifying psychological twist in the tale. It was screened on BBC Two on Christmas eve, 2010.
John Hurt says: “Oh Whistle And I’ll Come To You, My Lad is M R James’ most famous ghost story and I’m thrilled to be involved in this contemporary re- working of it, particularly as I’ve never done a ghost story before and I love to have new territory to walk. It’s also a great pleasure to be working with the BBC again.”
Neil Cross adds: “For reasons I don’t quite understand, I always enjoyed tales that terrified me. I grew up loving ghost stories, classic and modern. But I never got to tell a ghost story… until the BBC offered me the opportunity.
“Whistle And I’ll Come To You is a contemporary re-telling of one of the greatest, most beloved tales of the supernatural ever told. With the flawless casting of John Hurt and Gemma Jones, it aims to break the heart as it chills the soul.”
Directed by Andy de Emmony (West Is West, God On Trial), the one off drama was a cinematic, moody, poignant and unsettling spooky addition to the Christmas schedules, taking its lead from L’Orfanto, The Shining and Japanese horror movies.
Filming took place in Autumn 2010 in and around South East England. Kate Harwood, Controller, Series & Serials says: “BBC Drama Production is happy to be bringing together such a talented team to contribute a bit of a fright to the Christmas festivities.”
Gemma Jones (Harry Potter, Spooks) and Lesley Sharp (Doctor Who, Little Voice) also starred.
Visit the BBC website for clips and further details.