More than a decade after landing his first acting role in Marie Antoinette, Jamie Dornan is slipping back into his European period-drama breeches with Death and Nightingales, BBC Two’s upcoming three-part series based on Eugene McCable’s 1992 novel of the same name and written by Allan Cubitt, who previously collaborated with Dornan on The Fall. The first trailer for the miniseries, set to debut on the network later this month, dropped this week and depicts Dornan as Liam Ward, a lowly tenant farmer in Northern Ireland’s County Fermanagh in 1885, per Deadline. He works the land of Billy Winters (Matthew Rhys), whose stepdaughter Beth (played by Ann Skelly) is plotting to murder him so she can escape the despotic control he wields over her life.
“The heartbreak of this place—I love it and hate it like no place on Earth. Tomorrow, I leave it forever,” Beth ominously intones in the trailer as her stepfather keeps a disturbingly close eye on her from the window. Soon after, she seemingly attempts to enlist Liam’s help in getting Billy out of the way so she can live life on her own terms. Much of the rest of the trailer shows Beth and Liam, in polite prose, butting heads over whether it’s actually necessary to kill Billy in order for Beth to make her escape—interspersed with snippets of Rhys acting every bit the drunk and disorderly stepfather. “He made my mother suffer; he should answer for that,” she argues, to which Liam counters, “Killing’s a small thing. Getting away with it: That’s not easy.” Spoken like a true accomplice!
It’s unclear whether Beth actually ends up going through with the murderous plot of her dreams since the BBC has been especially cagey with further details about the Death and Nightingales story line, offering only that the miniseries is “a riveting story of love, betrayal, deception, and revenge” and that it takes place over the course of the 24 hours of Beth’s 23rd birthday. The only thing we know for certain is that the series will feature spot-on period clothing, sweeping views of Dornan’s native Northern Ireland, and enough scruffy facial hair to keep Rhys in disguise for another whole season of The Americans.
Watch the full first trailer for Death and Nightingales, below: