The characters in China Miéville’s The City & The City live their lives inside a visual challenge. We can’t see what will happen when the BBC and Mammoth Screen try to include us in that challenge.
The City & The City made our list of the top nine science fiction books to give to people who don’t like science fiction, so it’s fitting that the people filming it have previously been involved in non-genre pieces like Poldark and Parade’s End. On its face, the story is a murder mystery, in which Inspector Tyador Borlú investigates the death of a young foreign exchange student. It’s the city he’s in, and the one he’s not in, that makes it much more complicated.
The inspector resides in Besźel, but the exchange student was studying Ul Qoma. The two cities occupy the same space. The citizens of each city dress and move differently, the buildings have different architecture, and the people native to the region learn to see only one of the cities at a time. If they don’t, they run afoul of a sinister patrol unit called Breach.
It works on the page, but how to you keep the two cities separate when you’re pointing a camera at them both at the same time? We don’t know, but we can’t wait to find out!
[Source: Digital Spy]