The Dig cast: Who is in the cast of The Dig? Who plays Basil Brown?

The Dig: Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes star in Netflix trailer

The Dig follows the incredible true story of the dig at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. Archaeologists, self-taught and otherwise, found some remarkable artefacts, though the dig was not without its difficulties. But who is in the cast of the Netflix film and who plays the story’s hero, Basil Brown?

Who is in the cast of The Dig?

The cast is led by Carey Mulligan, an Oscar nominee who plays Edith Pretty, the owner of the land where the dig takes place at Sutton Hoo.

Ralph Fiennes plays Basil Brown, a self-taught archaeologist who is passionate about artefacts and fights to continue work on the excavation when others want to take over the dig, while Monica Dolan plays his wife, May Brown.

Lily James plays archaeologist Peggy Preston and Johnny Flynn is Stuart Piggott, also an archaeologist, who is involved in a love story with Peggy which took place in real life as well as in the film.

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Other members of the cast are Ben Chaplin, Ken Stott and Archie Barnes.

What do critics think of The Dig?

So far, it has gained fans all over the world, after some lucky places enjoyed a theatrical release of the movie.

Mark Kermode of The Observer and BBC Radio 5Live said: “This bittersweet tale of the unearthing of the Sutton Hoo treasures on the eve of the second world war has gentle charm to spare.”

Stephanie Zacherek of TIME magazine added: “The Dig is a movie steeped in the inevitable passage of time, but it’s also a reminder that the past lives on through the things we leave behind.”

Steve Greene of Indiewire said: “Whether it’s a mere whiff of romance, the memory of a loved one passed on, or the encroaching consequence of a nation readying for conflict, there’s a bittersweetness to The Dig that lingers just as much as the facts of the story.”

While many have enjoyed the movie, others have focused on factual scrutiny, wondering if the film lives up to the real life it is based on.

The National Trust has been involved in the film’s production, and it has so far received a seal of approval from those in-the-know.

Is The Dig a true story?

According to the National Trust, who runs the site now as a tourist attraction, The Dig is based on a novel written by John Preston.

While the film is based on the novel, many of the events and characters depicted in both the film and the novel are inspired by real events and real people.

One of these is Edith Pretty who owned the Sutton Hoo estate and was the instigator of the first excavations, which ended up revealing some incredible medieval finds.

In July 1937, Edith wrote to local historians who eventually put her in touch with Ipswich Museum, which in turn saw her team up with self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown.

From there, he and his team excavated, before other museums such as the British Museum and even the Science Museum became interested in the findings.

Over time, as more and more people became involved and eventually another archaeologist was placed above Basil as project leader, things became tense between the different groups.

While dramatic licence will naturally be involved in the film’s production, much of the story is based on the events which occurred.

The Dig is available to stream on Netflix now

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