Friday, May 27, 2022

Are You A Have or A Have Not? ‘Noughts + Crosses’ Explores An Alternate Reality Where Africa Raids Europe

noughts - crosses

*EURweb sat down with some of the stars of NBCUniversal/Peacock TV, new limited series, “Noughts + Crosses.” We spoke with  Bonnie Mbuli, Helen Baxendale, Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza.

They discussed what it was like to be involved in such an epic project, with the backdrop of current day politics, Black Lives Matter and the socio economic repercussions of race and racism in society.

“Noughts + Crosses” premieres on Peacock TV today, Friday, September 4, 2020.

Based on the popular series of novels by Malorie Blackman, the show takes place in an alternate reality in which Europe was conquered and enslaved by Africa 700 years ago. In the present day, society is heavily segregated, and power is held by wealthy Black citizens (called “Crosses”). White citizens (called “Noughts”) are poor and oppressed, and regularly subjected to state violence.

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“Noughts + Crosses” is not only brilliantly filmed, it is also a story that speaks to the times that we are currently facing; a time of racial reckoning!  The series originally aired on BBC One earlier this year and received rave reviews by tv critics and viewers alike.

“Noughts + Crosses” is co-produced by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Participant Media, and includes an award winning writing team led by Toby Whithouse, who created Being Human. It stars Masali Baduza as Sephy Hadley, the daughter of a Cross politician who ultimately falls in love with a Nought, named Callum McGregor, played by Jack Rowan.

Their story unfolds as they fight for their love against all odds. Included in this entanglement, is Bonnie Mbuli, who plays Sephy’s mother, Jasmine Hadley and Helen Baxendale, who plays Maggie McGregor, a “servant” to Jasmine and who also happens to be Callum’s mom.

Adapted from the first book in celebrated British author Malorie Blackman’s award-winning breakthrough YA series, NOUGHTS + CROSSES imagines an alternate universe in which history happened in racial reverse. In this world, Africa – or “Aprica” – invaded Europe centuries ago, enslaving its people. In present-day London, “Albion,” slavery is an institution of the past, but Jim Crow-esque segregation laws maintain the power dynamic: a ruling class of Black “Crosses” control the country’s politics, wealth and culture over an oppressed, impoverished underclass of white “Noughts” who are at the brink of revolt. Against this backdrop, a forbidden love story unfolds.

Noughts + Crosses - Season 1
NOUGHTS + CROSSES Episode 101-Pictured: Masali Baduza as Sephy Hadley

“Noughts + Crosses,” like movies and shows before it, continues the hope for more diverse stories, more creative collaborations and the hope for a new tomorrow! The Peacock TV adaptation, is based on the first book in the “Noughts and Crosses” series of novels, by author Malorie Blackman OBE, which won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades.

Malorie Blackman hopes “Noughts & Crosses” is seen as part of a wider trend in Black stories being made for the screen. “Now, there’s the realization that diverse stories do make money, like the films ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Hidden Figures’ — it would once have been much harder to get them off the ground,” she said. “There’s an audience desperate for new content and new voices, and I think a lot of people are waking up to that.”

Make sure to add “Noughts + Crosses” to your streaming TV list!  You don’t want to miss it!  You can check it out starting today, Friday, September 4, 2020 on NBCUniversal’s new free streaming service: Peacock TV





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