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AMC's The Beast Must Die Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

If you're looking for a meaty miniseries to sink your teeth into this summer, you might want to check out AMC's "The Beast Must Die," an epic and emotional revenge thriller based on a 1938 novel by Nicholas Blake featuring detective Nigel Strangeways and filmed on the U.K.'s Isle of Wight during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks, called the series "something special" in a statement. "'The Beast Must Die' honors the novel upon which it is based with a fantastic piece of television that cuts to the heart of grief, hate, revenge and allows us to ask questions about our own humanity in a remarkably engaging and suspenseful way," per Variety.

"The Beast Must Die" was originally commissioned for BritBox, the British streaming service, and was produced by New Regency Television International and Ridley Scott's Scott Free. The script was written by Gaby Chiappe ("Their Finest") and the series was directed by Dome Karukoski ("Tolkien"). Intrigued yet? Here's what we know about this sure-to-be-atmospheric project that promises to add some sizzle to the coming season.

When is the release date for The Beast Must Die?

AMC announced that "The Beast Must Die" begins on July 5 — but only for subscribers of AMC+. Episode 1 of the six-episode series is available starting Monday, July 5 on AMC+, but won't arrive on the AMC cable network until Monday, July 12 at 10 p.m. ET. Similarly, Episode 2 debuts Monday, July 12 on AMC+, but shows up on the AMC channel on July 19 at 10 p.m. ET. The remaining episodes will also run on AMC+ one week ahead of their regular airings on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on AMC. 

According to The Wrap, AMC+ is an ad-free streaming service that is being offered at different price points depending on which service you use to subscribe to it, but generally you can expect an $8.99 monthly price tag for content like "The Walking Dead" shows, "Mad Men," and "Better Call Saul," along with International Film Channel content, and shows from Sundance Now. 

Who is in the cast of The Beast Must Die?

The main roles in "The Beast Must Die" include Jared Harris ("Chernobyl," "Mad Men") as George Rattery and Cush Jumbo OBE ("The Good Wife," "The Good Fight") as grieving mother Frances Cairnes, according to an AMC press release. Billy Howle ("The Serpent") plays the British detective Nigel Strangeways, who tries to bring the criminal to justice without any further bloodshed.

Additional cast in the series includes Geraldine James ("Downton Abbey"), Nathaniel Parker ("The Inspector Lynley Mysteries"), Maeve Dermody ("Carnival Row"), Douggie McMeekin ("Chernobyl"), Mia Tomlinson ("The Lost Pirate Kingdom") and newcomer Barney Sayburn as Phil Rattery. Deadline reported that the entire cast and crew featured 190 people and the production also used 700 extras over a 61-day shoot. Since it was filmed in the second half of last year after the U.K. lifted quarantine rules on some productions in summer 2020, it also required 5,000 COVID-19 tests.

What is the plot of The Beast Must Die?

The story of "The Beast Must Die" focuses on Frances Cairnes (Jumbo), who is upset that the investigation into the fatal hit-and-run of her son Martie has been dropped. She decides to take matters into her own hands and poses as a mystery novelist to infiltrate the family of her biggest suspect, George Rattery (Harris). Her goal: to kill him, of course. Meanwhile, detective Nigel Strangeways also suspects George and thinks his department may have covered up the man's involvement. But when he finds that Frances has gotten herself a situation living with the Ratterys, he has to both prove George's guilt and stop Frances' plans for revenge. 

This version of the story is a present-day retelling of the original tale and features boats prominently, which explains why it was filmed on an island — a lucky circumstance, IndieWire reported, as COVID-19 infection rates were lower there. There was also a gender change, as author Blake's original story focused on a father, not a mother. "What [Gaby] had written was so epic in its scale of what quite an ordinary person goes through to do really extraordinary things," Jumbo said about her role (via IndieWire). "There was also lots of physical prep for different parts of the show that I had to do, like sailing and stunts and walking into the sea and preparing that way. A lot of it was emotional and looking at what happens to a person when they really are able to go off-road and decide how they're going to seek justice in that situation."

The original book features surprising twists and turns, so fans can expect the same from this miniseries when it debuts in July.