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All you need to know about BBC's gripping new drama The Girl Before

The new series begins on Sunday

girl before bbc
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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One of TV's most talked about upcoming series is The Girl Before on BBC. The drama, which airs its first episode on Sunday, tells a fascinating story and has a seriously impressive cast.

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The new show is based on the best-selling novel of the same name and is described as a psychological thriller. But before you get hooked on the first episode – find out everything you need to know about the show from its plot, the cast and more…

WATCH: Official trailer for BBC's The Girl Before

What is The Girl Before about?

The plot of The Girl Before sounds gripping. It focuses on Jane, who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by a mysterious architect named Edward. As per the BBC synopsis: "There's just one catch: the occupants must abide by his list of exacting rules.

"Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery about her predecessor Emma, she's forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women's timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before."

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gugu mbatha raw girl before© Photo: BBC

Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star as Jane 

Who stars in The Girl Before?

Viewers will definitely be familiar with the cast of The Girl Before. Starring as the lead, Jane, is Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Jane is described as "smart, curious, dogged and disciplined". Gugu has had many notable roles in TV and film including Black Mirror, Loki and The Morning Show.

Starring opposite Gugu is David Oyelowo as architect Edward. Edward is described as an "obsessive" perfectionist and "completely ambiguous". One of David's breakout roles was in popular spy drama Spooks alongside Keeley Hawes and Matthew Macfadyen.

girl before jessica© Photo: BBC

Jessica Plummer plays Emma

Since then, he's gone on to have huge success in acting. David received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay's Selma, receiving the Golden Globe for Best Actor for the part.

Also starring is Jessica Plummer, perhaps best-known for her recent portrayal as Chantelle Atkins in EastEnders. In 2020, the actress also took part in I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Jessica is playing the part of Emma Matthews. Fellow EastEnders alum and Bohemian Rhapsody star Ben Hardy is also appearing, playing the part of Simon Wakefield.

david jessica girl before© Photo: BBC

The Girl Before is set to be a big hit 

What else is there to know about The Girl Before?

Lead star Gugu opened up about her upcoming part in the thriller. She told the BBC: "I've never done a psychological thriller before, and I loved the fact that it was a twisty, compelling tale with an original point of view. You also have Jane and Emma, often you have one great female lead and in this, there were two. So, the feminist in me was like 'Yes, this is amazing!' Because both characters are complex and layered with such nuance to their back stories."

The Girl Before starts on Sunday 19 December at 9pm on BBC One.

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