November 2021

The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes to be adapted for TV miniseries

Synchronicity Films has optioned the forthcoming non-fiction book, “The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes: The Transgender Trial that Threatened to Upend the British Establishment,” with plans to develop a scripted miniseries.

Produced alongside Brazen Productions, the series will be written by BAFTA-winning trans writer Sukey Fisher (“Soundproof”), who will adapt University of London professor Zoë Playdon’s upcoming hybrid of social history, biography and gender theory, which is published out of the U.K. this month by Bloomsbury Publishing and in the U.S. by Scribner.

The book is based on the real story of Aberdonian doctor, farmer and baronet Ewan Forbes-Sempill — born Elisabeth Forbes — who in 1952 corrected the sex on his birth certificate in order to marry the love of his life, Isabella “Patty” Mitchell.

Ewan’s marriage, the couple’s freedom and Ewan’s gender became highly politically charged when his inheritance of the Forbes baronetcy was challenged in Scotland’s most senior court of law by his cousin John, who claimed that Ewan was a woman. The Scottish government took measures to bury the case, though more details have emerged in recent years.

The series will be set in and around the Scottish aristocratic family of Forbes-Sempill and Craigievar Castle, seat of the Clan Forbes for 350 years.

More information on the adaptation can be found here.