Norman Bates's mother finally gets her chance on screen

Alice Jones' Arts Diary
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More Hitchcock! Hot on the heels of two films about the director, a new American mini-series will probe the twisted relationship between Psycho hotelier Norman Bates and his mother in Bates Motel.

The prequel, in which the pair move to California to open a hotel following the death of Norman's father, stars Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Vera Farmiga (pictured) and starts on US cable channel A&E on Monday. From a writing team whose credits include Friday Night Lights and Lost, the 10-part series will plot how young Bates grew into a serial killer.

It is a “bizarre love letter between a mother and child”, Farmiga told the website Vulture. “It isn't trying to be Psycho or Hitchcock.” She watched Psycho for research but only found it useful as inspiration for her character's hairstyle. “There were just no clues as to who this woman may or may not have been.”

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