BBC Two Orders ‘Marvellous’ Drama, Toby Jones To Star

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BBC Two is adding a Marvellous entry to their drama line-up.

The broadcaster, currently under the stewardship of Adam Barker following Janice Hadlow’s decision to step down as Controller, has given the green-light to Marvellous, a one-off 90 minute drama about Neil Baldwin which hails from award winning writer Peter Bowker and production companies Tiger Aspect & Fifty Fathoms. Toby Jones (Harry Potter, Wayward Pines) is attached to star.

The one-off tells the story of Baldwin (Toby Jones), a man with learning difficulties from the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme. He has been a great many things in his life including a circus clown, a lay preacher and kit man at Stoke City, where he once famously led the City attack against Aston Villa in a testimonial match. Above all he is a man who defies definition in a world in which we seem intent on labelling each other.

Marvellous was one of the last drama’s ordered by former BBC Two Controller Janice Hadlow, who commissioned the one-off alongside the BBC’s Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson. The drama was written by Peter Bowker, who first learned of Baldwin in a 2010 article in The Guardian and soon after felt he had to meet the man. It is a co-production between Tiger Aspect Productions – whose period drama Ripper Street just earned a reprieve at Amazon UK – & Fifty Fathoms. The executive producers are Bowker, Patrick Spence and Lucy Richer. Entourage‘s Julian Farino is attached to direct.

“I have long been interested in how we use labels to limit the people we are describing – even, at worse, to dehumanise them. But Neil – despite being labelled and to some extent written off as a young man – struck me as a man who defied those who wished to define him”, said Peter Bowker. “It struck me if there was going to be a drama about Neil then it had to reflect his fluid and eccentric story. It is, therefore, part biopic, part musical, part fantasy. It isn’t always an easy story. It isn’t sugar coated, but I think it is ultimately optimistic and celebratory. And I think that’s important in this era where vilifying and writing off others has become something of a national pastime.”