BBC announce three new ambitious dramas


The BBC has announced the commissioning of three new dramas as the corporation aims to produce more varied and ambitious productions. Taken tells the story of human trafficking in the UK and is penned by Five Daughters writer Stephen Butchard while Exile is by Shameless writer Danny Brocklehurst. South Riding is a three-part adapation of Winifred Holtby’s work and is by Andrew Davies and tells the story of a Yorkshire community in the 1930s.


Exile, Taken and South Riding are three new drama commissions that reflect the variety and ambition of drama on BBC One at 9pm.


“BBC Drama allows original writers to do their very best work and the story going forward is about putting writers and authorship first in order to deliver audiences the range of varied and ambitious drama they expect. Andrew Davies, Danny Brocklehurst and Stephen Butchard’s new work represent the range of high quality and imaginative drama that pushes the bar of what mainstream is on BBC One.” – Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning


Exile is the first commission from AbbottVision and Red Production Company, executive produced by Paul Abbott and Nicola Shindler. From the imagination of writer Danny Brocklehurst, this 3×60′ drama is a tale of prodigal redemption, but also becomes an investigative crime story. The two investigations dovetail – the intimate story of a son returning to dissect the history of his family, and the digging into a mind blowing scandal two decades old, whose effects still live on.


Taken is a new single 90-minute film from the writer of Five Daughters, Stephen Butchard, and directed by one of the best film makers of his generation, Justin Chadwick, produced by RSJ Productions. About the important subject matter of human trafficking in Britain today, where children are brought here for a better life but end up working illegally outside the system, it’s a story of modern child slavery that demonstrates the broadening scope of singles on BBC One.


Andrew Davies’s new three-part adaptation of lost classic South Riding, by Winifred Holtby, is a rich and panoramic portrait of a Yorkshire community in the Thirties. It carries surprising and refreshing echoes of our own time and a slice of England not seen before on screen, starring Anna Maxwell Martin, David Morrissey, Penelope Wilton and Douglas Henshall, and made by BBC Drama Production North.


“Following on from Small Island and A Passionate Woman we continue to reappraise the BBC’s approach to period drama – there are no cosy clichés here – this little known novel paints a raw and real portrait of a rural community bustling with humanity and humour.” – Ben Stephenson


All three dramas were commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and will transmit in 2011.