After serving as Acting Head of Drama since the exit of Anne Mensah, Cameron Roach has been promoted to fill the position on a permanent basis. His official title is Director of Drama and Sky Studios. He will report to Gary Davey, Managing Director of Sky Content.
Roach had been viewed as the natural successor to Mensah, who exited the satcaster in November for a position in Netflix, as he had served as her deputy for the past five years. He has worked on a wealth of Sky Originals including in Star, Britannia, Fortitude, Riviera and Bulletproof.
Roach has already commissioned his first two scripted projects as Director of Drama: sci-fi series Intergalactic for Sky One and period drama Little Birds for Sky Atlantic. “Cameron brings with him a wealth of knowledge and is a brilliant creative leader who will continue to define our vision for original dramas”, Gary Davey said. “These two commissions underline his understanding of our diverse audiences and his dedication to growing the Sky drama slate with quality, cinematic and gripping content. I am looking forward to working with him to lead the drama team to future success.”
Intergalactic is set in the 23rd Century and follows Ash, a young flight cadet falsely imprisoned before becoming embroiled in an audacious prison break-out. Across their perilous escape through space, this disparate gang of dynamic women fight, fall in love and betray each other. But one thing is for certain, the further they travel from Earth, the closer they come to understanding who they truly are.
The ten episode series was created by Julie Gearey and is produced by Moonage Pictures and Motion Content Group in association with Tiger Aspect Productions. The executive producers are Will Gould, Iona Vrolyk, Julie Gearey, Frith Tiplady, Matthew Read, Richard Foster and Tony Moulsdale. Series creator Julie Gearey is also the showrunner. Fortitude helmer Kieron Hawkes is attached to direct. Production gets underway later this year. Sky Vision and Motion Content Group will handle global sales.
Little Birds is set in Tangier in 1955, in the famous ‘international zone’ – one of the last outposts of colonial decadence, and a culture shock in more ways than one for troubled American debutante Lucy Savage.Thrilled to escape her controlling parents, Lucy arrives full of anticipation for her marriage to her English fiancée, Lord Hugo Cavendish-Smythe little knowing that Hugo has already lost his heart to someone else. As Lucy fights to carve out her independence and identity, her life becomes intertwined with Cherifa Lamour, a Moroccan dominatrix who services the diplomats and foreigners of this colourful, bohemian world and Egyptian Aristocrat Adham Abaza – and they all become entangled with some very dangerous characters.
The six episode series, which was created by Sophia Al-Maria, is produced by Warp Productions and stars Juno Temple, Yumna Marwan and Raphael Acloque. Ruth McCance and Peter Carlton will serve as the executive producers. Production is set to get underway in Spain and Manchester next month ahead of a 2020 premiere. ITV Studios Global Entertainment will handle international sales. “Warp Films is truly excited at the opportunity afforded by Sky and our distributor ITV Studios Global Entertainment to welcome viewers to the vivid, provocative and entertaining world of Little Birds”, said Ruth McCance.
While Cameron Roach added: “Intergalactic and Little Birds couldn’t be more different, and in that, they represent the ambition of our slate. We are thrilled to be venturing into space and Julie Geary’s incredible imagination knows no bounds; whilst the creative team behind Little Birds have raised the bar in terms of creating a provocative piece of television. By putting viewers at the heart of our commissioning strategy I truly believe that we are uniquely placed as a broadcaster to encourage creative talent to bring us their boldest and most innovative ideas and I am thrilled that these two shows are the first I’m able to announce as Director of Sky Drama.”