Noel Fielding is set to star as Dick Turpin in a new untitled comedy series for Apple TV+. The unnamed comedy-adventure series will explore the real-life story of the English highwayman and robber known for his showmanship and charm.
Born in 1705, Turpin became part of a gang of thieves in the early 1730s, becoming known for robbing unaware travelers who crossed deserted roads. The thief remained active until 1739, when he was found guilty of horse theft and hanged for his crimes. After his death, Turpin became an urban legend, with people recreating exaggerated stories about his feats and the supposed honorable way the criminal treated his victims.
Mixing real-life events and fantasy, Turpin’s story was adapted multiple times for theater, film, and television — including getting the Horrible Histories treatment — with each new take on the thief increasing his fame and giving him unique antiheroic traits. Among the most famous stories about Turpin is the tale of when he shot a member of his gang by mistake, and the time he rode two hundred miles overnight from London to York. So, we could say Turpin’s tale is a patchwork of adventure and comedy, with new pieces added every time someone uses his name. With such diverse material available, Dick Turpin’s story is more than fit for a new series adaptation.
The upcoming series starring Fielding will lean heavily on the absurdity of Turpin’s story, while following the thief’s adventures as he tries to evade the long arm of the law. In the first images for the series, Fielding sports a classic historical outfit, complete with a hat and a thief mask. The photos also highlight the highwayman’s beautiful hair, which is said to be his pride in the upcoming adaptation.
Fielding is an English actor and comedian known for his dark humor and his work with The Mighty Boosh comedy troupe. More recently, Fielding became the face of the hit reality series The Great British Bake Off, where he has acted as co-host since 2017. Fielding was also part of several English comedy series, such as The IT Crowd.
The upcoming series was created by Claire Downes, Stuart Lane, and Ian Jarvis, who also serve as writers. Besides starring in the main role, Fielding also serves as a script consultant, together with Jeremy Dyson. Ben Palmer is set to direct. The series is executive produced by Fielding, Palmer, Kenton Allen, Victoria Grew, and Matthew Justice.
There’s still no release window for Apple TV+’s Dick Turpin series.