The BBC was accused of plagiarizing RTVE's "El Ministerio del Tiempo”

Spanish creator Javier Olivares accused the British company of copying the idea of the series “El Ministerio del Tiempo”, produced by RTVE, for its recently announced drama.

26 FEB 2024

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The BBC has been accused by Javier Olivares, Spanish creator of the series "El Ministerio del Tiempo," of plagiarizing the series to create its new drama "The Ministry of Time," recently announced by the company. According to the BBC, the new drama is based on the first novel, still unpublished, by Kaliane Bradley, also called "The Ministry of Time." The BBC's official website explained, "The plot focuses on a British government department that recruits agents from different periods in history."

The resemblance of the title and plot to the Spanish series "El Ministerio del Tiempo," created by Javier and Pablo Olivares and broadcasted on Spanish channel La 1 between 2015 and 2020, raised the suspicions of many Twitter users, who alerted both the BBC and the creator of the series, Javier Olivares, of the similarity. "That NBC (judicial agreement, it is not an opinion) and the BBC (same title and idea) plagiarize you shows how badly we did it with 'The Ministry of Time,'" said Javier Olivares said on X, with irony, requesting some action by RTVE, something that, according to the corporation's statements to Spanish outlet El País, has already been implemented.

Official RTVE sources assured El País that "neither RTVE nor the production company that took charge of the production of the series have granted any license to the BBC or any production company for the adaptation of 'The Ministry of Time'. RTVE will ask the BBC for the appropriate explanations regarding its announcement without prejudice to its rights in defense of its interests."

In its official statement, the BBC explains that the idea for "The Ministry of Time" parted from the unpublished novel by Kaliane Bradley, which will be adapted by Alice Birch, screenwriter of "Normal People." The production company A24 will be responsible for the fiction. Its characters will include a commander from John Franklin's 1845 Arctic expedition, an army captain from the Battle of the Somme in World War I, a plague victim from the early 17th century, an 18th-century soldier, and a widow of revolutionary France. This time, expatriates reach the 21st century through bridges (in the Spanish series, it is through doors), and they will be forced to share a flat and adapt to the habits and customs of contemporary life. In this coexistence, romantic tensions will arise, and they will have to face a conspiracy.