BBC One is set to explore two inter-twined gay love stories in a new two-part drama titled Man In An Orange Shirt, from British novelist Patrick Gale and Broadchurch indie Kudos Film & Television.
The two-parter will tell two gay love stories, set sixty years apart, which are linked by family, and by a painting that holds a secret that echoes down the generations. Gale described the project as being “two hour long films”, one in the 1940s/1950s and one in the present day. The first love story is made impossible by pressures from society, while the second is nearly derailed by the long-term fall-out from the 1940s story.
“Man In An Orange Shirt is the most exciting screen project I’ve worked on to date: an original drama exploring strands of gay male experience since the 1940s”, Gale said. “People who know my novels will be unsurprised to hear that that stories give equal focus to wives and mothers and are very much about tensions between family bonds, the need to be good and the urge to seize happiness. I hope they’ll appeal equally to straight and gay viewers but also that they’ll leave either side feeling challenged about things they take for granted.”
Man In An Orange Shirt is the first original TV drama for Patrick Gale, who has published more than fifteen novels since 1985. It was commissioned last year by former Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson and Charlotte Moore, who at the time was serving as Controller of BBC One. Kudos Film & Television is producing, with the indie’s CEO Diederick Santer serving as an executive producer alongside the BBC’s Lucy Richer.
“Patrick is an outstanding and best-selling novelist whose stories connect with readers worldwide. Distinctive, original voices are at the heart of BBC Drama and we are thrilled to be making his first original television drama for BBC One”, added Lucy Richer, Acting Controller of Drama Commissioning for the BBC. “Man In An Orange Shirt has all the hallmarks of a Patrick Gale novel: captivating stories with unforgettable characters who will strike a chord with us all.”