BBC One has announced an ambitious new drama slate for 2014-2015.
The public broadcaster has renewed their hit drama series Call The Midwife and Death In Paradise; with both set to return for their fourth seasons in 2015. In addition, BBC One has inked an deal with Agatha Christie Limited to become the UK home for new Christie projects. As part of that deal, two new drama adaptations, And Then There Were None and Partners In Crime – which will star David Walliams as the lead – have received a green-light. BBC One today also announced a wealth of new drama commissions from such talent as Lenny Henry, Mike Bartlett, Nicole Taylor and Steve Pemberton.
“BBC One views all audiences as equal – it’s our creative mission to deliver the broadest variety of drama in the world on the biggest channel in the UK. We want all audiences to find drama on BBC One that they passionately love – whatever their taste or demographic”, said Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning “With Tony [Hall, Director General] and Danny [Cohen, Director of Television]’s support, Charlotte and I are excited to build on BBC One drama’s tremendous start to the year and feel emboldened that audiences are looking for even more high quality and surprising stories.”
While Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One added: “I want to expand the range and ambition of new drama on BBC One, and challenge ourselves to be even more original and distinctive. BBC One has a greater range of drama than any other. I’m keen to explore new perspectives and subject matter – stories that feel relevant to our audience and reflect the world around us; contemporary and sometimes provocative drama that tackles the complexities of life and that speaks to all of us.”
Full Details of BBC One’s New Drama Commissions Follow Below:
And Then There Were None
Based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name which has sold more than 100 million copies, And Then There Were None is one of two new Christie adaptations to get the green-light at BBC One. The premise is described as “timeless, dark and gripping” and follows 10 strangers marooned on an island who, one by one, start to die. The drama is being adapted by Sarah Phelps, who is also behind the BBC’s upcoming JK Rowling adaptation The Casual Vacancy. Mammoth Screen are producing in partnership with Acorn Productions Ltd.
Partners In Crime
Based on the Tommy and Tuppence characters created by Agatha Christie, Partners In Crime follows the duo in 1950s England as they stumble into a world of undercover agents, mysterious evil masterminds and diabolical political conspiracy. The project has received a six episode order, with the first three episodes being adapted from the Christie novel The Secret Adversary and the remaining three episodes being adapted from N Or M?. The first three episodes are being penned by Zinnie Harris, while Claire Wilson is adapting the remaining episodes. David Walliams has been cast as Tommy in this new series, which is being produced by Endor Productions in partnership with Acorn Productions Ltd.
“In bringing these thrilling stories to the screen, it is our ambition for Tommy and Tuppence to finally take their rightful place alongside Poirot and Marple as iconic Agatha Christie characters”, said David Walliams. “I was first drawn to the delicious notion of a married couple solving crimes together, and the more I read of the Tommy and Tuppence novels and short stories I realised they are among Christie’s very best work.”
Danny And The Human Zoo
Penned by Lenny Henry and produced by Red Production Company, Danny And The Human Zoo is a 90 minute one-off film which tells a fictionalised story of the life of Lenny Henry during the 1970s. The story centres on Danny, a talented impressionist, and his working class Jamaican family, as he rises to fame as a stand-up comedian. The executive producers are Nicola Shindler and Poly Hill. Casting for the one-off is currently underway, with details to be announced at a later date.
“I’m so excited about bringing my fictional teen memoir to the nation! I’ve crammed the first two years of a very long career into 90 minutes – it’s gonna rock”, said Lenny Henry. “I think , although it’s not exactly what happened, that we’ll get a strong sense of what it might have been like for a young black kid from Dudley to be suddenly hurled into the maelstrom of this business we call show… Can’t wait!”
The C Word
Based on Lisa Lynch’s book, The C Word is a one-off drama which tells the story of Lynch’s battle with cancer. Mrs Biggs alum Sheridan Smith is attached star as Lynch. The one-off was adapted by Nicole Taylor, with close input from Lynch; and is being produced by BBC Drama Production. Simon Lewis is serving as the producer and Susan Hogg as the executive producer. Production is slated to commence this May.
“One in three of us will receive a cancer diagnosis in our life time – everyone will be touched by it. Sometimes a voice makes itself heard which manages to encapsulate our universal experience”, said Executive Producer Susan Hogg. “Lisa Lynch is one of those; accessible, irreverent, hilarious voices which can help us to find the energy to cope when it seems impossible. The C Word is a magical love story of a young couple, their families, and life itself.”
A new 5 episode drama series from The Town scribe Mike Bartlett, Doctor Foster follows the eponymous doctor whom is a trusted GP, the heart of her village and a woman people can trust. But Doctor Foster’s life is about to explode. When she suspects her husband has been having an affair, Doctor Foster is determined to find out the truth. But when she looks into matters the secrets she uncovers propel her, her family, and even some of her patients, into chaos. The series is produced by Drama Republic with Matthew Read, Roanna Benn and Greg Brennan serving as executive producers.
Mapp And Lucia
Penned by Steve Pemberton, this three-parter is based on the EF Benson novels and is set in the small English town of Tilling across the Summer of 1930. Described as “celebrating the snobberies and pretensions of small town life”, the drama follows Mrs Emmeline
Lucas, known to her friends as Lucia, who decides to take a holiday in the charming Queen Anne town of Tilling. The 3×60 project is produced by BBC Drama Production, with Lisa Osborne serving as the executive producer. Diarmuid Lawrence is attached to direct, with production set to commence this Summer in Rye, Sussex.