The Luminaries BBC release date, cast, trailer, plot: When is The Luminaries out?

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The Luminaries was announced by the BBC in 2019 and now the series has finally arrived. The New Zealand-based mystery series has earned a spot on BBC One after recently premiering. has everything you need to know including release date, cast, trailer, plot and more.

When is The Luminaries out on BBC?

After months of waiting, The Luminaries on BBC One has been given a release date.

The series debuted in the UK on BBC One on Sunday, June 21 at 9pm. 

The series began airing in New Zealand on Monday, May 17, so the series was expected to premiere in the UK shortly after it has finished airing in New Zealand.

When The Luminaries airs, you can stream the series as it airs live on BBC One or via the BBC iPlayer.

The six-part series will also be available to stream and download on the BBC iPlayer.


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Who stars in The Luminaries?

Eva Green stars as a brothel madam, Lydia Wells in The Luminaries.

Green is best known for playing Bond girl Vesper Lynd in James Bond Casino Royale and Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful.

Robin Hood’s Eve Hewson plays Anna Wetherell alongside EastEnders star Himesh Patel as Emery Staines.

The Cry’s Ewen Leslie takes on the role of Crosbie Wells.

They are joined by an ensemble of actors including Marton Csokas as Francis Carver, Erik Thomson, Benedict Hardie, Yoson An and New Zealand newcomer, Richard Te Are.

What is The Luminaries about?

The Luminaries follows the story of Anna Wetherell (played by Eve Hewson) who has travelled from Britain to New Zealand to build a brand new life.

During her travels, she meets 12 local men and finds himself caught up in a world of unsolved crimes.

Each of the 12 men is associated with one of the twelve zodiac signs.

The series is set in the New Zeland’s Hokitika in the South Island during the 19th-century gold rush.

The synopsis for The Luminaries reads: “The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women travelled across the world to make their fortunes.

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“It is a 19th-century tale of adventure and mystery, set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush.

“The story follows defiant young adventurer Anna Wetherell, who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life.

“There she meets the radiant Emery Staines, an encounter that triggers a strange kind of magic that neither can explain.

“As they fall in love, driven together and apart by fateful coincidence, these star-crossed lovers begin to wonder: do we make our fortunes, or do our fortunes make us?”

The series is loosely based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Eleanor Catton.

Catto herself adapted her Booker Prize-winning novel for the small screen.

She said: “I’ve had tremendous fun adapting this novel for the screen and feel incredibly lucky to be working with such fantastic people across different art forms.

“Writing a novel is a solitary business, but writing for the screen is emphatically collaborative, and to see the world of The Luminaries enlarged and enriched in ways that go far beyond the scope of my own imagination has been a humbling and hugely exhilarating experience.

“I couldn’t be happier that the brilliant Claire McCarthy is at the helm, and I can’t wait to see this incredible cast bring the story to life.”


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Is there a trailer for The Luminaries?

Yes, there is a short trailer for The Luminaries.

The clip begins with a woman saying: “Think of the sky as a looking glass. What you see is who you are, who we serve, who we meet and what we sacrifice.”

The trailer then flicks through a montage of Anna Wetherell leaving her home in England and arriving in New Zealand.

Scenes then take a darker turn, featuring moments of violence and fire, with a man’s voice saying: “It’s funny how life pans out. How in a single moment everything can change.”

Text towards the end of the trailer reads: “The epic story of love, manipulation, desire, betrayal, revenge.”

The Luminaries continues on BBC One tonight at 9pm

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