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Series / Black Narcissus

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Paradise. Perversion. Sanctuary. Sin.

Black Narcissus is a drama Mini Series by The BBC and FX. It is based on the 1939 novel of the same name by Rumer Godden.

Sister Clodagh (Gemma Arterton) is sent to establish a branch of her order with fellow nuns at a palace in the Himalayas. But she struggles to temper her attractions to Mr. Dean (Alessandro Nivola), a World War I veteran they meet, and with the fact that the palace was previously used to house a harem.

The mini-series also stars Aisling Franciosi as Sister Ruth, Jim Broadbent as Father Roberts, Diana Rigg - in her last television role - as Mother Dorothea, and Karen Bryson as Sister Philippa. It premiered on November 23, 2020 on FX and Hulu.

For the 1947 film, see here.


This miniseries contains examples of:

  • Important Haircut: Sister Clodagh shaving her head.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The logo replaces the I in Narcissus with a cross: BLACK NARC†SSUS.
  • Naughty Nuns: Sister Ruth and Sister Clodagh.
  • Royal Harem: The palace used to house a Maharaja's harem.
  • The Shangri-La: The series takes place at an Indian-style palace in the Himalayas.
  • Truer to the Text: Played With; Sister Philippa actually leaves and is replaced by Sister Adela like in the novel, a passage which the 1947 movie ignored, but Sister Ruth, after her Face–Heel Turn and attacking Sister Clodagh, deliberately throws herself off the cliff under the horrified eyes of both Mister Dean and Sister Clodagh, which wasn't in the novel.