Production begins on TV adaptation of The Small Hand: A Ghost Story

Production companies Awesome Media & Entertainment and Two Rivers Media have announced start of production in Glasgow on the adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel The Small Hand: A Ghost Story.

Douglas Henshall (Shetland, Outlander) stars as Adam Snow, an antique book dealer who finds himself haunted by the ghost of a young boy. As Adam investigates the strange occurrences, he suffers nightmares as he receives further, increasingly sinister, visits from the ghost, ultimately revealing a haunting secret from his own childhood.

The drama reunites Douglas Henshall with Neve McIntosh (Cheat, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Shetland), who starred opposite Henshall in Channel 4’s Psychos. McIntosh stars in the role of Denisa Parsons. Louise Lombard (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) plays Adam’s secret lover Alice Merriman, and Adrian Rawlins (Chernobyl, Shetland) plays her husband and Adam’s client, Edward Merriman.

Cal MacAnich (The Victim) plays Hugo Snow, Adam’s brother, who is wrestling with his own demons. Maryam Hamidi plays his wife, Benedicta. And Paul Barber (Casualty, The Full Monty) plays spiritual healer Thierry, who tries to excise the ghosts from Adam’s life.

Justin Molotnikov, whose credits include: Doctor Who for the BBC One; Stan Lee’s Lucky Man for Sky; and Merlin and Atlantis, both BBC One, directs from a script by BAFTA winner Barbara Machin, who is best known as the creator of Waking The Dead (BBC One).

Douglas Henshall says: “I’m absolutely delighted to join the cast of The Small Hand. Barbara Machin has written a brilliant script based on Susan Hill’s haunting, seminal novel. The combination of filming in my hometown of Glasgow and the strength of the material make this project a true highlight.”

This is the first adaptation of a Susan Hill book since her iconic ghost story, The Woman In Black, was adapted into a blockbuster feature film in 2012 starring Daniel Radcliffe. The stage adaption of that title continues to run in the West End.

"This project demonstrates the strength of talent we have in Scotland"

“I couldn’t be prouder to start production in Glasgow with hometown star Douglas Henshall under the direction of incredible Scottish director, Justin Molotnikov. This project demonstrates the strength of talent we have in Scotland and Two Rivers Media is perfectly placed to bring this talent to the world.”

Alan Clements
Managing Director of Two Rivers Media

Jeff Norton, Founder of Awesome Media & Entertainment says: “At Awesome, we focus on bringing brilliant books to the screen with best-in-class partners. This incredible cast showcases the strength of pairing great literature with strong screenwriting. It’s an honour to bring this gripping story to the screen.”

Alan Clements, Managing Director of Two Rivers Media says “I couldn’t be prouder to start production in Glasgow with hometown star Douglas Henshall under the direction of incredible Scottish director Justin Molotnikov. This project demonstrates the strength of talent we have in Scotland and Two Rivers Media is perfectly placed to bring this talent to the world.”

Sebastian Cardwell, Commissioning Editor for Channel 5, says: “Take Susan Hill’s novel, Barbara Machin’s script and a talented UK cast and you have all the ingredients for a terrific ghost story.”

Commissioned by Sebastian Cardwell, Susan Hill’s The Small Hand: (w/t, 1x 120’) is a co-production between Alan Clements’ new Glasgow-based indie Two Rivers Media and Jeff Norton’s IP and production company Awesome Media & Entertainment, both backed by Kew Media Group, and receives major support from Screen Scotland.

Kew Media Distribution is handling worldwide sales and will showcase the project at MIPCOM in Cannes in October under the title Susan Hill’s The Small Hand: A Ghost Story.

Filming commenced on Tuesday 10 September in Glasgow.

Notes to editors

Awesome Media & Entertainment (‘Awesome’) was founded by Creator/Writer-Producer Jeff Norton. Awesome is a creative-first content company dedicated to the creation of compelling characters, engaging stories, and immersive worlds.

Awesome began as the intellectual property vehicle for author Jeff Norton’s novels and creations, publishing over 25 novels with major publishers, and is now developing television adaptations of its books, novels by acclaimed authors, and original high-end drama. Awesome partners with best-in-class production partners including Two Rivers Media, the Jim Henson Company, OmniFilm Entertainment, and Monumental Television.

Awesome recently launched its successful Awesome Reads fiction imprint and graphic novels studio. The company is backed by Kew Media Group and Tricycle Media. Find out more at http://awesomemediaent.com/.

Two Rivers Media is one of the most ambitious new indies to launch onto the market in recent years. Founded by CEO Alan Clements, former Director of Content at STV Productions, and headquartered in Glasgow, Two Rivers aims to create compelling content in factual, factual entertainment, entertainment and scripted. This multi-genre company of scale to serve the Scottish, UK and international markets.

The company was launched in January 2019, its creation coinciding with Channel 4’s committed spend 50% of its programme budget outside London by 2023 and its plans to establish a Creative Cluster in Glasgow; the BBC’s commitment to spending 9% of its network budget in Scotland; and the ambitions of the Scottish Government and new agency Screen Scotland which has just been given additional funds of £10m to boost the sector. The company is backed by Kew Media, Noble Grossart and the Channel 4 Growth Fund. Find out more at https://www.tworiversmedia.co.uk/.

Channel 5 is a public service broadcaster and the UK’s third latest commercial TV station.  Launched in March 1997 Channel 5 has been owned by Viacom International Media Networks since September 2014.  Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Spike, 5Select and My5 TV reach 3 in 4 of the UK viewing public each month with a diverse schedule including issue-led documentaries, popular factual, accessible history, stunning natural history, inclusive entertainment and reality, top level sport, high quality scripted programming and critically acclaimed children’s and news programming.

Through its agenda-driving commissions, Channel 5 has led on societal issues from inequality to inner city gang life, homelessness to mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the nation.  My5 is an on-demand service allowing viewers to watch content online for free from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and 5Spike. In 2018, Channel 5 won its first BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald and was named ‘Channel of the Year’ at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Find out more at https://www.channel5.com/.

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. With funding from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success.

KEW MEDIA GROUP is a leading publicly-listed content company that produces and distributes multi- genre content worldwide. Companies included in the KEW family are the production companies: 4East Media, Architect Films, Awesome Media & Entertainment, Bristow Global Media, Collins Avenue Productions, Essential Media Group, Frantic Films, Jigsaw Productions, Media Headquarters, Our House Media, Sienna Films, Spirit Digital Media and Two Rivers Media; plus the distribution companies: KEW MEDIA Distribution and TCB Media Rights.

With primary offices in London, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney and Toronto, the KEW MEDIA GROUP companies develop, produce and distribute more than 2,000 new hours of new content every year, as well as distribute a library of more than 14,000 hours, to almost every available viewing platform worldwide. KEW aspires to offer great content from all over the world to viewers of all ages and tastes. The Company promotes transparency, equality, respect, and inclusiveness and plans to grow with the benefit of people from a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. Find out more at http://www.kewmedia.com/.