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BBC shares first look at gripping new drama The Listeners with BAFTA-winning star and The Crown actor

Rebecca Hall stars alongside newcomer Ollie West and The Crown actor Prasanna Puwanarajah

Rebecca Hall as Claire in The Listeners
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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The BBC has released a first look at its upcoming drama, The Listeners, starring BAFTA-winning actress Rebecca Hall – and it looks so good!

Described as "enigmatic, provocative, and haunting", the series, which is adapted by Jordan Tannahill from his novel of the same name, follows Rebecca's character Claire, an English teacher whose life is changed when she begins to hear a low humming sound that no one else around her can hear.

"This seemingly innocuous noise gradually upsets the balance of her life, increasing tension between herself and her husband, Paul, and daughter, Ashley," reads the synopsis. "But despite multiple doctors, no obvious source or medical cause can be found."

"When she discovers that a student of hers, Kyle (Ollie West), can also hear the sound, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship. Finding themselves increasingly isolated from their families, friends and colleagues, they fall in with a disparate group of neighbours, led by a charismatic couple, Jo and Omar, who also claim they can hear The Hum – and who believe it could be a gift, heard only by a 'chosen few.'"

Rebecca Hall as Claire in The Listeners© Element Pictures/Des Willie/BBC
Rebecca Hall stars as Claire in The Listeners

One of the first-look photos sees Claire in some sort of trance, facing the sky with her eyes closed and mouth open. Another picture sees Claire and Kyle both facing upwards, with Kyle striking a similar expression, while Claire has her hands wrapped around her neck. 

While the first-look images don't give much away, the logline sheds some light on the themes addressed in the series, which arrives on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year. "The Listeners explores the seduction of the wild and unknowable, the human search for the transcendent, the rise of conspiracy culture in the West, and the desire for community and connection in our increasingly polarised times," it reads. 

Starring alongside Claire and Ollie in the drama are The Crown's Prasanna Puwanarajah, Ramy actor Amr Waked and Perry Mason's Gayle Rankin. 

Ollie West as Kyle and Rebecca Hall as Claire in The Listeners

The Listeners,Kyle (OLLIE WEST), Claire (REBECCA HALL),** FIRST LOOK **,Element Pictures,Des Willie© Element Pictures/Des Willie/BBC
Ollie West plays Kyle in the drama

Mia Tharia (Phoenix Rise), Franc Ashman (Inside Man) and Samuel Edward Cook (Peaky Blinders) also appear in the series, with Karen Henthorn (Coronation Street), Lucy Sheen (Ping Pong) and Ian Mercer (All Creatures Great And Small) rounding out the cast. 

A release date has not yet been revealed for the series, which comes from Element Pictures, the production company behind Normal People, The Favourite and Poor Things, in collaboration with Fremantle company. Meanwhile, Janicza Bravo (Zola, Poker Face, Mrs America) serves as director. 

The Listeners isn't the only gripping drama fans can look forward to in the coming months. The hit police series, Blue Lights, will return with its second season in the spring and will continue to follow rookie cops Grace Ellis, Stevie Neil and Annie Conlon as they tackle the complex world of policing in Belfast. 

Stevie Neil (Martin McCann) and Grace Ellis (Siân Brooke) in Blue Lights© Two Cities Television/BBC
Blue Lights returns with series 2 in the spring

Find out which other amazing shows are arriving on BBC One this year. 

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