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It’s a Downton Abbey reunion on the set of The Time Traveller’s Wife

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Rose Lesie and Theo James in The Time Traveller’s Wife

HBO

She played the gutsy housemaid Gwen who leaves service to pursue a career as a secretary, while he was the infamous Turkish diplomat who died in Lady Mary’s bed, both in series one of Downton Abbey, but now, Rose Leslie and Theo James are set to be reunited on screen as husband and wife in the new HBO adaptation of The Time Traveller’s Wife.

Based on the 2003 best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger, the plot follows the curious life of Henry DeTamble and his wife Claire Abshire. While passionately in love, their romance is complicated by the fact that DeTamble suffers from a mysterious disorder which causes him to unpredictably – and unwantedly – time travel. This means he often disappears in time, with no promise he will return.

This will be the first television adaptation, but there has already been a big screen version, with a 2009 film starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. This new TV series will show the story across multiple episodes, and begins filming next month.

The script was written by Steven Moffat, the man behind Sherlock, Dracula and Doctor Who. ‘This is a story of loss but it’s not a tragedy. It’s about a time traveler but it’s not science fiction. Despite Clare and Henry’s time scrambled relationship, this is the tale of a grand, ordinary love – but not necessarily in that order,’ he said. ‘This is a dream project for me. I have always loved Audrey Niffenegger’s extraordinary, moving novel and it has inspired me many times, so to be adapting it for television is the thrill of a lifetime.’

Leslie has been on a bit of a hiatus from acting, having recently given birth to her first child with Game of Thrones actor and husband Kit Harington. Meanwhile James last starred in Sanditon, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel.

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