Oct 6, 2015

Tradecraft: Follett's Code to Zero Becomes Miniseries

Ken Follett's novels have proved fertile ground for miniseries in the 21st Century, but it's always his sprawling historical epics that get adapted rather than his spy novels. (The last Follett spy adaptation was the 1994 Timothy Dalton miniseries Lie Down With Lions.) That changed today when Tandem Productions, the company behind the hugely successful Follett miniseries The Pillars Of The Earth and World Without End, announced that they would next tackle the author's 2000 spy novel Code to Zero. Deadline reports that the StudioCanal subsidiary will make some changes to the source material, however, in adapting it into a limited series. The novel is set in 1958 and hinges on a Bourne Identity-like set-up, in which a man awakens on the ground at a train station with amnesia. Piecing his life together through detective work, he uncovers a conspiracy tied in with the launch of Sputnik and the early days of the space race. As regular readers know, I love Cold War spy stories, so I would certainly enjoy a faithful adaptation set in the same time. Unfortunately, according to the trade, Tandem will update the story to the present day, against the backdrop of a U.S./China battle for space supremacy. Well, it could still be cool! The company has a good track record with Follett adaptations, and also produces the gripping international crime series Crossing Lines. Studiocanal will handle world sales, but I have no doubt this will be snapped up by a U.S. cable network.

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