Prize-Winning Author Marlon James to Bring Jamaican Detective Series to Television

Jamaican author Marlon James, who won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2015 for his novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” has partnered with the television network HBO and Channel 4 to create a drama series, “Get Millie Black,” that follows the life of Millie Jean Black, a Scotland Yard detective. The series will feature locations in both Jamaica and London. James will be the writer and executive producer of the series.

The premise of the series involves female detective Millie Jean Black, who had worked at Scotland Yard before moving back to Kingston, Jamaica, to solve missing persons cases. Details about the series are few, but according to Deadline, Millie soon becomes embroiled in efforts to try to save a sister who resists her help, attempting to find a boy who apparently cannot be found, and working on a case whose solution could have explosive ramifications on her life. Along the way, the series explores the legacy of slavery, racism, classism, sexuality, and recurring trauma in the post-colonial environments of both Britain and Jamaica. The story is told from the point of view of Millie, a woman who says she is both British and Jamaica but feels at home in neither place.

The names of cast members have not yet been announced, but the series is said to include the characters of Hibiscus, a transgender “gully queen;” a sibling Millie left in London “Curtis,” Millie’s partner on the police force in Jamaica who must keep his love life a secret from colleagues; “Luke Osbourne,” an inspector at Scotland Yard; and “Hit Girl,” an underworld entrepreneur and the owner of a go-go club.

Speaking of “Get Millie Black,” James shared that his mother was one of the first policewomen in Jamaica to reach the rank of detective. He said that he has always viewed storytelling as a mystery to be solved, an idea that he attributes to his mother. Caroline Hollick, the head of Channel 4 drama, said it is a privilege to greenlight the first original drama series by a genius like Marlon James, whom she calls “one of the literary superstars of our generation.”

The filming of the series is set to begin in the United Kingdom and Jamaica in 2022. No release date for “Get Millie Black’ has been determined as yet, but it will be available to viewers on Channel 4.