BBC Two has locked down the main cast for their upcoming period drama series Banished, which hails from Accused creator Jimmy McGovern.
The seven episode drama series features a strong ensemble cast which includes Russell Tovey (Looking), MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street), Julian Rhind-Tutt (The Hour), David Wenham (Top Of The Lake), Joseph Millson (Holby City), Ewen Bremner (Accused), Genevieve O’Reilly (The Honourable Woman), Brooke Harman (Dance Academy), Orla Brady (Strike Back), Joanna Vanderham (The Paradise), Rory McCann (Game Of Thrones), Adam Nagaitis (Inbetweeners 2), Cal MacAninch (Mr Selfridge), Ryan Corr (Wolf Creek 2), David Dawson (Peaky Blinders) is Captain David Collins, Nick Moss (The Mill), David Walmsley (The Smoke) and Ned Dennehy (Blitz).
Banished is inspired by the events of the late 1780s when Britain deported its unwanted citizens to the very edge of the known world. The drama opens in New South Wales, Australia, in 1788. Tents are pitched and there is a scattering of timber buildings on a strip of land between the impenetrable bush and the mighty Pacific Ocean. It is here that the convicts transported on the First Fleet and their masters are waking up to another sweltering hot day in a place where anything can happen and death stalks everyone. With supplies running out and the group ill-equipped for life on this inhospitable shoreline, who will survive the next 10 days?
Russell Tovey has been cast as James Freeman, who develops a strong friendship with two fellow convicts: Elizabeth Quinn (MyAnna Buring) and Tommy Barrett (Julian Rhind-Tutt); David Wenham as Governor Arthur Phillip, who hopes to turn their new home from a penal colony to a land of opportunity; Joseph Millson as Major Ross, the Governor’s nemesis who wants to rule with an iron fist; Ewen Bremner as Reverend Johnson; Genevieve O’Reilly as the Reverend’s selfless wife; Brooke Harman as Deborah, Governor Phillip’s housekeeper; Orla Brady as Anne Meredith and Joanna Vanderham as Katherine McVitie.
Originally commissioned in April 2013 by then BBC Two Controller Janice Hadlow and the BBC’s Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson, Banished was created by Accused scribe Jimmy McGoven, who wrote the series with Shaun Duggan. At the time of commission, McGovern’s production company said they were looking for co-production partners for the series, which was originally envisioned as an 8 parter. They have now found those partners in See-Saw Films and BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand – who will air Banished on the recently launched BBC First in Australia and UKTV in New Zealand. The executive producers are Poly Hill, Jimmy McGovern, Roxy Spencer, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, and Jamie Laurenson. Dan Percival and Jeffrey Walker are attached to direct with production slated to commence in April north of Sydney.