Life After Life arrives on BBC2 and poses the question to its viewers ‘if you could live life time and time again, would you ever get it right?’ Power of The Dog actress Thomasin McKenzie play Ursula Todd, a woman who is born numerous times. Set against the backdrop of two World Wars, and based on the bestselling novel by Kate Atkinson, the BBC2 adaptation shows Ursula living and dying in numerous circumstances. But what is it she needs to stay alive for?
“I’m drawn to Life After Life because it makes me laugh, cry, clench my fists in anger or whoop with empowerment,’ says Thomasin McKenzie. “Bash (writer Bash Doran) has done a stunning job at adapting Kate Atkinson’s masterpiece.”
The drama also stars Fleabag’s Sian Clifford and James McArdle as her original parents Sylvie and Hugh. Also look out for Jessica Hynes and Jessica Brown Findlay among the cast.
Here’s everything you need to know about BBC2 drama Life After Life…
Life After Life release date
Life After Life is a four-part drama that arrives on BBC2 this spring, having previously been announced as BBC1. We don’t yet have an official BBC2 air date but when we find out we’ll post it here. The drama will also be shown on BBCiPlayer and get a worldwide release date which we’ll update on when we hear.
Life After Life plot
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd (Thomasin McKenzie) who is born to Sylvie and Hugh (Sian Clifford and James McArdle) on February 11 1910 but dies before she draws her first breath. However, on the same night, Ursula is reborn and this time she survives. Time and time again she dies but is born again into a new life, but what does it all mean?
The drama follows Ursula as she navigates each life during a critical time in our history, which encompasses two world wars and an encounter with Hitler. Her journey probes whether a perfect life can ever be lived and if the course of history can truly be changed. Ursula’s apparently infinite amount of lives give her the power to save the world but even if she can, will she?
Life After Life cast — Thomasin McKenzie, Sian Clifford and James McArdle
Meet the lead cast in Life After Life…
Thomasin McKenzie as Ursula
Kiwi actress Thomasin played Lola in last year’s hit movie The Power of the Dog, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Before that she starred as Elsa, a Jewish girl forced to hide from the Nazis, in the powerful comedy Jojo Rabbit. Thomasin has also had roles in Last Night In Soho, Old and Leave No Trace.
Sian Clifford as Sylvie Todd
Sian is best known for playing Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s sister Claire in the popular coemdy series Fleabag. She also appeared in the series Vanity Fair and Two Weeks to Live. She played fraudster Diana Ingram in ITV’s Quiz, which was about the couple who tried to cheat their way to winning £1 million on the quiz show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Sian has also starred in Inside No.9 and His Dark Materials.
James McArdle as Hugh Todd
James played Deacon Mark Burton in the series Mare of Easttown, alongside Kate Winslet. He also starred as Niv Lek in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and as The Earl of Moray in Mary Queen of Scots. James has also starred in Love & Marriage, New Worlds, Man In An Orange Shirt and Ammonite, the movie about fossil hunter Mary Anning.
Who else is starring in Life After Life?
In Life After Life look out for Years and Years star Jessica Hynes (also W1A, The Witchfinder) who will play Mrs Glover while Jessica Brown Findlay (Brave New World, Downton Abbey) will also star. They are joined by Patsy Ferran (Black Narcissus), Harry Michell (Yesterday), Laurie Kynaston (The Trouble With Maggie Cole), Joshua Hill (Small Axe), Maria Laird (Derry Girls) and Sean Delaney (Killing Eve).
Is there a Life After Life trailer?
The BBC hasn’t yet released a trailer for Life After Life, but we’re expecting one soon, so we’ll post it here when it arrives.
Life After Life – all about the novel
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson was published in 2013 and is the first of two novels about the Todd family. The second, A God In Ruins, was released in 2015. Life After Life won numerous accolades, including Waterstone’s Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Kate’s debut novel was Behind the Scenes at the Museum in 1995 and she’s since written numerous works including Human Croquet, Emotional Weird, Case Histories and One Good Turn. She also wrote the treatment for the TV series The Catch.