Lennie James (Jericho, Low Winter Sun) has been cast as the lead in Sky1’s upcoming 13 episode drama series Critical, TVWise has learned.
Created by Jed Mercurio, Critical is a high octane medical drama which unfolds in real time. The series is set in a state-of-the-art Major Trauma Centre, a unit which treats only the most gravely ill or seriously injured. Each episode features a new and distinctive case told with thrilling intensity. Whether that patient lives or dies is determined by knife-edge decisions and procedures, but can the diverse team of medical professionals knit together and rise to the challenge? Critical is being produced by Hat Trick Productions with Christopher Hall serving as the series producer and Mark Redhead and Cameron Roach serving as the executive producers. Production on the drama is slated to commence next month.
Lennie James has been cast as locum trauma consultant Glen Boyle. He leads a cast which also includes Catherine Walker (Strike Back), Claire Skinner (Outnumbered), Kimberley Nixon (Fresh Meat), Neve McIntosh (Doctor Who), Prasanna Puwanarajah (The Half Light), John MacMillan (Silk), Ellen Thomas (Rev), Mali Harries (The Indian Doctor), Paul Bazely (Casualty), Danny Kirrane (Trollied) Peter Sullivan (The Hour), Emma Fryer (Chickens, Phone Shop), Orion Lee (Skyfall) and Juliet Oldfield (Top Boy).
“Critical is a show with Sky 1’s DNA at its heart. It is fast paced, high octane storytelling, packed full of energy”, said Adam MacDonald, Director of Sky1. “We are thrilled that Lennie James is leading the cast and are very excited to be working with Jed and the team over at Hat Trick.”
While Sky Entertainment’s Commissioning Editor Cameron Roach, who commissioned the series in his former capacity as Sky’s Acting Head of Drama, added: “Sky 1 feels like a perfect home for this high energy, fast paced drama. There is nothing like it on television and we hope our customers relish the characters, atmosphere and pace of this ground breaking show.”
Critical reunites series creator Jed Mercurio and Lennie James, who also played the lead character in Mercurio’s BBC Two anti-corruption drama Line of Duty. “The chance to work with Jed again and to come home to be part of such an exciting and ballsy project was too good an opportunity to turn down”, said James.
This drama, which received a series order from the broadcaster back in September 2013, forms part of Sky’s pledge to invest £600 million in home grown commissions by 2014. It also comes at a time when, as part of that pledge, the broadcaster is greatly increasing its drama output. Other recent commissions have included The Smoke and Moonfleet, for Sky1; The Tunnel, Fortitude and Fleming for Sky Atlantic; and the NBC co-production Dracula for Sky Living.