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The Midwich Cuckoos star Keeley Hawes reveals major difference from show to book 

Have you read the famous sci-fi novel? 

keeley hawes midwich
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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There is something comforting about watching a Keeley Hawes drama. No matter what the topic, you know that your time spent watching the show is definitely going to be worth it - and this is exactly the cast with her new series The Midwich Cuckoos

MORE: Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes to play husband and wife in new ITV drama

The series is an adaptation of the hit 1957 sci-fi novel by John Wyndham - but much has been changed for the show to go on the silver screen, and as far as Keeley is concerned, that can only be a good thing. 

WATCH: The show stars Keeley Hawes - and is set to be a huge hit

In the series, a commuter town receives national attention after undergoing a mysterious blackout, with anyone going into the town mysteriously collapsing, and all of the women waking to find themselves pregnant - with Keeley taking a leader’s role in finding out just what had happened to the women - including her daughter.

Keeley’s role as Dr Susannah Ellerby is based on the novel’s protagonist, Richard Gayford, and the Bodyguard actress revealed why changing the character’s gender was crucial for the updated version of the story. 

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Keeley plays a psychiatrist in the new series 

Chatting to HELLO! and other reporters about how important it was for the story, she said: "Very important. My character in the book was originally a man, and this is such a female story. It's about these women. It's about women in this town and their bodies being taken over by an alien force. We don't know what it is, which is part of the mystery of the show.

"But it is about women and their bodies. And so actually, it feels quite dated now that the man was at the centre of that when the book was written." 

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Will you be watching?

The screenwriter David Farr and director Alice Troughton agree, with David explaining: "I think the single most important thing I did was to make that character into a woman. That's Dr Susanne is Ellerby, played by Keeley Hawes. And also to make her a listener rather than a speaker. She's a psychologist. Her job is to listen and to understand… I’ve always been drawn to characters that don't say as much. They tend to be listeners. And I really like that." 

Alice added:"[To give] Wyndham is credit, he wouldn't have been published had he not written it from the male gaze. But he's much more than that as a writer. He's an absolutely superb writer… He doesn't do that straight white male narrative." 

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