Six-part miniseries Picnic at Hanging Rock premiered on BBC2 last night (Wednesday, July 11).
The drama is the latest reimagining of the classic 1967 Australian novel of the same name.
It tells the story of the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day in 1900.
Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer leads the cast as Headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard – here’s a look at the other cast members.
Natalie Dormer – Mrs Hester Appleyard
Natalie Dormer plays the iron-fisted headmistress of Appleyard College, Mrs Hester Appleyard.
She is a described as a formidable foe who extols order, precision, perfection.
The series sees her work hard to protect her perfectly crafted reputation.
“There is no greater mystery than who is Hester Appleyard,” Dormer says of her character.
“he’s got something to prove. She’s come to Australia, as a lot of people did at the end of the 19th Century, to reinvent herself, to completely give herself a new identity.”
She added: “We slowly reveal the ghosts and the baggage of that past – who she is and this little kingdom that she has created ten thousand miles away from home to hide from her past.”
Natalie Dormer as Mrs Hester Appleyard
Lily Sullivan – Miranda Reid
Australian actress Lily Sullivan plays one of the students from Appleyard College in the series.
Miranda Reid is described as strong-willed, natural and proud and not afraid to challenge the strict rule of her mysterious headmistress.
“Miranda is a bit of a dreamer,” Sullivan said of her character.
“She definitely likes to escape reality. She’s earthy, strong, opinionated… I think that comes from growing up on a farm with four brothers, totally treated as an equal – gender does not apply whatsoever.”
Lily Sullivan as Miranda Reid
Samara Weaving – Irma Leopold
Samara Weaving of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri fame plays student Irma Leopold.
Irma comes from a rich family and privileged background.
Speaking about her character, Weaving said: “There’s actually a line from the book that I thought captures Irma the most. It’s quite simple, it says ‘Irma likes beautiful things.’
“There’s the obvious, narcissistic side to that, which is that she like jewels, wears the fanciest clothes and gets things imported from France.”
She added: “But on the flip side, Irma wants the world to be beautiful – she wants it to have a heart and to be sparkly.”
Samara Weaving as Irma Leopold
Madeleine Madden – Marion Quade
Australian actress Madeleine Madden plays another student, Marion Quade.
Marion is the daughter of a prominent judge, but her mixed-race heritage and the fact that she was born out of wedlock has made her the subject of derision and gossip in nearby Woodend.
“Marion Quade is a total bookworm,” Madden said.
“She’s very independent and she prides herself on her intelligence. She’s also really brave and follows her heart. She isn’t afraid to show who she really is.”
Madeleine Madden as Marion Quade
Yael Stone – Dora Lumley
Orange is the New Black star Yael Stone plays teacher Dora Lumley.
Dora is the headmistresses’ right-hand woman but Mrs Appleyard views her as “ineffectual, insufferable”.
“Life’s a bit of a struggle for Dora,” Stone said.
“She’s not well liked, she’s not well loved. The closest relationship she has is with her brother and he’s quite controlling.”
She added: “I think all she’d really want is to have a friend or a confidante like Mrs Appleyard – somebody that she could admire and who would admire her diligence and her modesty, but I don’t think that’s the case.”
Yael Stone as Dora Lumley
Other cast members include Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne, Lola Beiss as Mademoiselle Dianne De Poitiers and Harrison Gilbertson as The Hon. Michael (Mike) Fitzhubert.
James Hoare plays Coachman Albert Crundall, Anna McGahan plays Greta McCraw and Ruby Rees plays Edith Horton.
Picnic at Hanging Rock airs Wednesday nights at 9pm on BBC2