The Luminaries

The Luminaries is a New Zealand British drama television series. The Luminaries is the adaption of Eleanor Catton’s Booker-prize winning novel The Luminaries. The miniseries is directed by Claire McCarthy along with Eleanor Catton. The series was released in May 2020. The Luminaries is aired on TVNZ and BBC Two in the United Kingdom.

The plot of The Luminaries

The plot is based on many different prospects. The story is set around the gold rush of 1865 in New Zealand.  The story revolves around, Anna Wetherell and Emery Staines.  These two characters first meet when their ship docked in Dunedin after a lengthy voyage from London. The whole of the story revolves in 9 months time frame. Anna Wetherell finally reaches New Zealand where she seeks to start a new life. On her long voyage, she meets 12 different men, each associated with a different zodiac sign. Every single man is associated with some dark and insidious stuff.

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Anna soon with the unfolding incidents finds herself amid prostitution, drug addiction, to becoming a murder suspect, and a prisoner. She, later on, she becomes an apprentice of Lydia Wells, who is a local astrological enthusiast.  The series has a very dark setting. Dark not only based on the plot of The Luminaries, the plot is indeed dark, but so is the cinematography.

The series is set up in 1865, so we get to see a lot of racism, abuse of minorities, and the colonized Maori. There is a lot of substance abuse shown as well, which all very well relates to the setting of the era of that time.  There are a lot of twists that are in the series, and the viewers tend to get confused if they miss any scene in the progression.  Even though the series is adapted from the novel, The Luminaries, the miniseries, somehow deviates from the original story.

The cast of The Luminaries

  • Eve Hewson as Anna Wetherell
  • Eva Green as Lydia Wells
  • Himesh Patel as Emery Staines
  • Ewen Leslie as Crosbie Wells
  • Marton Csokas as Francis Carver
  • Benedict Hardie as Alistair Lauderback
  • Erik Thomson as Dick Mannering
  • Richard Te Are as Te Rau Tauwhare
  • Callan Mulvey as George Shepard
  • Joel Tobeck as Ben Lowenthal
  • Paolo Rotondo as Aubert Gascoigne
  • Matt Whelan as Cowell Devlin
  • Matthew Sunderland as Joseph Pritchard
  • Byron Coll as Charlie Frost
  • Mark Mitchison as Thomas Balfour