Mark Gatiss to pen and direct M R James’ The Tractate Middoth for BBC2

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Mark Gatiss is to write and direct a new version of M R James’ The Tractate Middoth for BBC2.

The BBC said the adaptation will see Gatiss bringing his “distinctive wit and sense of the macabre to bear on one of James’ most thrilling tales”.

It added that the drama will include a “disputed will, a race against time and something very unpleasant lurking in the library”.

To accompany the drama, Gatiss will also present a documentary called Ghost Writer, which will explore James and his work.

The BBC said the drama will “uncover the secrets of his inspiration”.

They will be broadcast over Christmas.

Meanwhile, BBC2 will also screen My God, It’s Full of Stars – A Journey to the Edge of Science Fiction, which is a four-part series that will provide a “definitive television history of science fiction”. It will explore films and television series such as Star Wars and Doctor Who.

Mark Bell, commissioning editor for the arts at the BBC, said: “As the biggest producer and investor in original arts and music programmes in the UK, I’m pleased we’re able to bring such a rich and varied range of new arts programmes to BBC2.”