From Scott Rudin Productions and Fox 21 Television Studios and Created by Elwood Reid, This Epic Eight-Part Series Is Based on Annie Proulx’s New York Times Bestselling Novel
Featuring a Stellar Ensemble Cast Led by David Thewlis and Marcia Gay Harden, Viewers Will Be Transported to 17th-Century New France in a Story Filled With Mystery, Drama and Grit
(London, UK – Tuesday 7th July) BARKSKINS examines the mysterious massacre of settlers in the vast and unforgiving wilds of 1690s New France that threatens to throw the region into all-out war. Likely suspects abound — the English, the Hudson’s Bay Company and a band of Kanien’kehá:ka (Iroquois) possibly in league with the English looking to drive the French from the territory — but who or what brought these settlers to such a tragic end? National Geographic’s new eight-part limited series, BARKSKINS, created by Elwood Reid and based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Annie Proulx, transports viewers to the wild frontier of the late 17th century. BARKSKINS premieres Tuesday 4th August at 9pm with back-to-back episodes over four weeks.
BARKSKINS is set in Wobik, a small settlement in what is now the Canadian province of Quebec. As the Catholic Church sends Jesuit priests to convert the indigenous people, France sends indentured servants to populate its territory, along with “Filles Du Roi” (“Daughters of the King”), young women to be matched with husbands, start families and help the colonies prosper. This disparate group of outcasts, rogues and innocents must navigate brutal hardships, competing interests and tangled loyalties at the crossroads of civilisation: 1690s New France.
“BARKSKINS is a primeval story of survival and the quest to build a civilisation out of the endless forest,” said Reid, creator and executive producer. “The settlers who have come to seek their fortune in the vast and unforgiving ‘New World’ - the landless poor, street urchins, religious seekers, rapacious traders and the penniless young women hoping to marry into land and wealth - are met with the brutal reality of their dreams as they attempt to carve their place in it. They find themselves in the forest of the world, a dark and uncaring place, long settled by indigenous nations who view their arrival with disdain, and a recognition that an alliance with these disparate newcomers is increasingly necessary for survival.”
The series tells a thrilling story of exploration, adventure and ambition among dreamers and fighters — some with a utopian vision of the world, others crass and conniving, but all navigating the perils of a treacherous new frontier. As tensions escalate, unlikely alliances are forged, old antagonisms deepen and new families are formed against the seemingly endless natural riches and hidden dangers of the new American continent. BARKSKINS’ depiction of the collision between civilisation and commerce is timeless, as is its spirit of adventure, natural wonder and survival of the fittest.
Premiering globally in 172 countries and 43 languages, the eight-episode historical fiction limited series hails from Fox 21 Television Studios and Scott Rudin Productions, and is based on the bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Proulx. The series stars David Thewlis (“Wonder Woman”) as “Claude Trepagny,” Marcia Gay Harden (“The Newsroom”) as “Mathilde Geffard,” Aneurin Barnard (“Dunkirk”) as “Hamish Goames,” James Bloor (“Dunkirk”) as “Charles Duquet,” Christian Cooke (“Point Blank”) as “Rene Sel,” David Wilmot (“The Alienist”) as “Constable Bouchard,” Thomas M. Wright (“The Bridge”) as “Elisha Cooke,” Tallulah Haddon (“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”) as “Melissande,” Kaniehtiio (Tiio) Horn (“The Man in the High Castle”) as “Mari,” Lily Sullivan (“Picnic at Hanging Rock”) as “Delphine” and Zahn McClarnon (“Fargo”) as “Yvon.”
Series creator Reid (“The Bridge”) also serves as showrunner and executive producer. Scott Rudin (“No Country for Old Men”), Garrett Basch (“The Night Of”), Eli Bush (“Lady Bird”), David Slade (“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”) and Proulx are also executive producers.
Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel “The Shipping News” and the story collection “Close Range.” Her many honours include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and a PEN/Faulkner Award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film.
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About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivalled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, Nat Geo People) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of the world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now it is committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for consumers… all while reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month. NGP returns 27 percent of its proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com.
Fox 21 Television Studios
Fox 21 Television Studios, a division of Disney Television Studios, is devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television Studios is responsible for the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (with FX Productions), as well as its follow-up, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” which also won the Emmy and the Golden Globe for Outstanding Limited Series; the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning “Homeland,” starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, now in its eighth and final season; the Emmy-winning “Fosse/Verdon” (with FX Productions) from award-winning producers Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson, Joel Fields and Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams; the blockbuster “Sons of Anarchy” as well as its follow-up, “Mayans M.C.” (with FX Productions) from co-creators Kurt Sutter and Elgin James; “Queen of the South,” executive produced by David T. Friendly, Dailyn Rodriguez and Benjamin Daniel Lobato; the Emmy-winning “Pose” (with FX Productions) from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Alexis Martin Woodall and Sherry Marsh; the Emmy-nominated GENIUS franchise currently in production on its third installment GENIUS: ARETHA, starring Cynthia Erivo, Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett and Rebecca Naomi Jones, with Anthony Hemingway tapped as executive producer and producing director for the season. Upcoming series include Ryan Murphy’s “Ratched,” starring Golden Globe and Emmy winner Sarah Paulson in the title role; “The Old Man” (with FX Productions), starring Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and six-time Emmy winner John Lithgow and the newest installment of “American Crime Story,” titled “Impeachment: American Crime Story: ” (with FX Productions), starring Sarah Paulson, Beanie Feldstein and Annaleigh Ashford. Fox 21 Television Studios shows have amassed a collective 120 Emmy nominations and 34 Emmy wins, as well as multiple Golden Globes, Humanitas Prizes and Peabody Awards.
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