Buccaneer to adapt The Doll Factory for Paramount+

  • News

Paramount+Buccaneer Media, producers of Marcella and Crime, is adapting The Doll Factory for Paramount+. 

Public broadcasters SBS in Australia and New Zealand’s TVNZ have also boarded the 6 x 60’ historical thriller, that is adapted from Elizabeth Macneal’s Sunday Times bestselling debut novel. 

Charley Miles is adapting the book, which is set in London in 1850. It centres on Iris, who paints dolls for a living alongside her twin sister, Rose. Iris dreams of becoming an artist.


By night, she secretly paints herself naked. Silas is a taxidermist who owns a shop filled with his creations. He dreams of one day finding an item so unique he will be catapulted to fame. Louis is a painter and member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, searching for his next muse. 

When Iris meets Silas, and then Louis, she is offered an opportunity to escape and start a new life. To do so, she must abandon her sister, sacrifice her reputation, and launch herself into the unknown. But as Iris’ world expands, a story of dark obsession begins to unfold…

Suzanne McAuley produces; Sacha Polak directs. Julie Harkin is the casting director. 

Buccaneer’s Tony Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart said: “The combination of debut author Elizabeth Macneal with first time screenwriter Charley Miles is what this company is all about: emergent talent who will take the world by storm. To have SBS and TVNZ join Paramount+ at such an early stage is testament to the incredible writing of Charley…”

Macneal commented: “It is the most surreal and wonderful thing to have my novel turned into a TV series. When I wrote the book, I felt I knew each character intimately - and what a treat it will be to see them fully brought to life, from Iris’s fire and zest to be a painter, to the taxidermist Silas’s hunger to have his name recognised. I always said I wanted to work with a screenwriter who was able to reimagine my novel in a new way for a new audience, and I am stunned by the wonder that is Charley Miles’s script...”

The executive producers are Wood, Anna Burns and Tulk-Hart for Buccaneer, Miles and Macneal.

Buccaneer is also in prep on another Paramount+ commission, The Burning Girls, an adaption of CJ Tudor’s book that films later this summer, and is readying the second series of Irvine Welsh’s Crime for Britbox and ITVX. The company is also developing more Welsh novels for TV, The Blade Artist and The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, and is working on an original drama by Miles called In Memoriam. 

The company is also in development of ‘In Memoriam’ an original drama series written by Charley Miles. The series is a co-production with Participant Media.

Also on The Knowledge