‘Doctor Who’ Star Pearl Mackie Joins PBS’ Masterpiece Series ‘Tom Jones’

Pearl Mackie attends the Pain And Glory UK Premiere
Joe Maher/Getty Images

Pearl Mackie, best known for her role as Doctor Who companion Bill Potts, is set to star in the upcoming four-part miniseries reimagining of Henry Fielding’s classic novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling.

Originally published in 1749, the story follows the complicated and scandalous journey of the titular Tom Jones and his attempt to find real love. Gwyneth Hughes (Vanity Fair) will write the new TV adaptation, with Georgia Parris (Mari) serving as director and Benjamin Greenacre (Fortitude) producing.

Mackie joins the previously announced Solly McLeod (The Rising), who stars as the eponymous hero Tom, and Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me), who portrays the heroine Sophia Western. Mackie will play Sophia’s best friend.

The project is a collaboration between Mammoth Screen (the production company behind Poldark), British broadcaster ITV, and PBS’ Masterpiece, the former home of ITV’s popular period drama Downton Abbey. It is expected to start filming in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland this fall.

Tom Jones is the mother of all romcoms and isn’t that just what we all need after the last couple of years of misery?” said writer and exec producer Hughes. “It’s a story where the sun barely stops shining, where love conquers all, and at its warm heart stand a pair of young sweethearts everyone can root for.”

She continued: “Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel is sexy and fun; it’s also a dramatic rollercoaster, addressing so many modern concerns around consent, sexual equality and the pursuit of happiness… This is a classic adaptation with a wise soul and a great big smile on its face.”

Mackie, meanwhile, is set to star in another upcoming ITV drama, The Long Call, which is currently in post-production. She will also feature in the sci-fi movie The Deal, which is also in post-production. Most recently, she appeared in English-language Swedish adventure thriller Horizon Line and had a guest role in the British sitcom Friday Night Dinner.

Tom Jones, TBA, PBS’ Masterpiece