BBC One has ordered The Trick, a one-off drama that tells the real life of the so-called ‘Climategate Scandal’ from 2009. Jason Watkins (McDonald & Dodds, W1A) is attached to star in the lead role.
The Trick tells the story of world-renowned Professor Philip Jones; Director of Climate Research at the University of East Anglia, who back in 2009 found himself at the eye of an international media storm and the victim of cyberterrorism.
With time running out against an unseen enemy, The Trick looks at the potentially devastating consequences to humanity from climate change denial; how a media storm undermined public confidence in the science and how the concept of ‘truth’ took a back seat causing us to lose a decade of action. The film also charts the unjustified persecution of Phil Jones, his wife Ruth’s fierce support of her husband and the fight for the ultimate exoneration of himself and the science.
“It is rare that a drama marries the personal and the public in such a compelling way – the urgent need to tackle the effects of the earth’s warming is not going away and the research into this project has been sobering”, commented Jason Watkins. “It is a privilege to play the brilliant scientist, Phil Jones, whose own private world was so threatened from outside and whose research and efforts have been so vital globally in combating the effects of climate change. I’m delighted to be performing alongside Victoria, the whole exceptional cast and with Pip Broughton, whose singular and beautiful work I so admire.”
Rounding out the cast is Victoria Hamilton (Doctor Foster, Life), George MacKay (1917, Pride), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones, Ripper Street), Adrian Edmondson (The Pact, Save Me), Aneirin Hughes (Hinterland, Keeping Faith), Pooky Quesnel (The A Word, The Victim), Richard Elfyn (The Pact), Rhashan Stone (Keeping Faith, Finding Alice), Justin Salinger (Hanna), Tara Divina (Line Of Duty) and David Calder (Time, The Hatton Garden Job).
Owen Sheers penned the script for the one-off drama, which is set up at Vox Pictures. Adrian Bate is the producer, while Pip Broughton is attached to direct. Filming will take place in Cardiff, London and Norfolk. Ben Irving will executive produce for the BBC. The Trick was commissioned for BBC One by the BBC’s Director of Drama Piers Wenger and the BBC’s Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore. “I’m hugely grateful to Vox Pictures and to the whole cast and crew for putting together a timely and important piece about a subject which is rarely seen in drama – the climate change crisis”, Wenger said in a statement. “This shocking true story speaks of the complexity of the challenges we face in tackling it.”
While Adrian Bate, Producer for Vox Pictures, added: “The Trick is a thriller that gives us a unique opportunity to convey the dangers of climate change through the prism of a drama that is both chilling and true. It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to the debate surrounding the biggest challenge the world has ever faced, especially in the lead up to COP26.”