The BBC is bolstering its drama output with an assortment of commissions.
BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson
The slate of new programming was unveiled by the corporation’s Controller of Drama Commissioning, Ben Stephenson at an event held for writers, actors, directors, industry and press.
Returning to BBC One for a two-part special is crime drama Luther starring the award winning Idris Elba in the title role of DCI John Luther.
“Ever since we said goodbye to John Luther on Southwark Bridge, there’s hardly been a minute when I didn’t wonder what happened next. So I decided to find out. We’re putting the band back together; Luther is coming back where he belongs. Back to the BBC. Back to London. And back to work.” – Writer and Creator, Neil Cross
Filming will begin on two hour-long specials in March of next year around London for transmission later in the year on BBC One.
DCI John Luther
The first new commission is a four-part drama series One Of Us from the The Missing’s Harry and Jack Williams, which has been described as a modern thriller set in the Highlands of Scotland and Edinburgh. The BBC One series will follow the lives of two neighbouring families whose lives are rocked by a horrific double murder.
“We’re excited to be telling a modern-day parable that explores big themes and ideas through the lens of a very personal, character-driven story”. – Harry and Jack
Meanwhile, the corporation has also greenlit a “brilliant tale of espionage” in an adaption of Len Deighton’s novel SS-GB. Penned by James Bond writers Robert Wade and Neal Purvis; SS-GB is a thriller set in 1940’s London, with the premise that the Germans won the Battle Of Britain and London is under Nazi occupation. The five-part series will be produced by Sid Gentle Films for the corporation.
“Len Deighton’s SS-GB is a brilliant tale of espionage that dares to think the unthinkable, and we are very excited to be adapting it for television.” – Wade and Purvis
Eight-parter Cuffs from Tiger Aspect Productions will portray the everyday rollercoaster of being a police officer in the UK. Written and created by Prisoners’ Wives scribe Julie Gearey, the fast-paced and adrenalin-fuelled cop show has been earmarked for a weekday 8.00pm slot on BBC One.
“As a massive fan of cop shows, I’m thrilled to create a new ensemble police series for BBC One. Intimate and realistic, we’ll be right on the shoulders of our cops as we follow them into every corner of lives in which work pressures don’t end at the station door.” – Julie Gearey
Other dramas to be announced for BBC One include The Secret Agent, a three part series about a Soho shopkeeper who is working as a secret agent for the Russian government; Undercover a six-parter billed as a ‘gripping political thriller’ featuring a lead character who is about to become the first black Director Of Public Prosecutions when she discovers that her husband has been lying to her for years; and The A Word, a thought-provoking six-part series about a family who have to adjust after their youngest member is diagnosed with autism.
Two animations have also been confirmed for BBC One in Revolting Rhymes and Stick Man.
Airing on BBC Two will be The Dresser, a two hour-long adaption of Ronald Harwood’s play of the same name starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen; and a six-part second series of Top of the Lake.