The BBC have announced the commissioning of eight new dramas from both established and first time writers.
Jimmy McGovern returns to his roots for Broken, a six part new primetime drama series set in his home city of Liverpool. Broken plots the perspective of a local catholic priest Father Michael Kerrigan and that of his congregation and their struggle with both Catholicism and contemporary Britain.
After creating the ratings winning Doctor Foster, Mike Bartlett returns to BBC One with Press; a new drama that is set in the world of newspapers. Of the drama Bartlett says, “from exposing political corruption to splashing on celebrity scandal, editors and journalists have enormous influence over us, yet recent events have shown there’s high-stakes and life-changing drama going on in the news organisations themselves. I’m hugely excited to be working with the BBC to make Press, a behind-the-scenes story about a group of diverse and troubled people who shape the stories and headlines we read every day.”
Following The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman, Hugo Blick returns to BBC Two with Black Earth Rising. Blick describes Black Earth Rising as, “a long form thriller which, through the prism of a black Anglo-American family, examines the West’s relationship with contemporary Africa by exploring issues of justice, guilt, and self-determination.”
Also coming to BBC Two is Paula, the first original TV series from writer Conor McPherson. Paula presents a unique twist on a crime and relationship drama where a man and a woman get locked into a battle driven by vengeance.
Six-part psychological drama Requiem is written and created by Australian writer Kris Mrksa. The drama is the story of a young woman who, in the wake of her mother’s death, sets out to learn the truth about herself, even to the point of unravelling her own identity. But it is also a subtle tale of the supernatural that avoids giving easy answers, playing instead on uncertainty, mystery and ambiguity.
Three-part miniseries The Replacement is a psychological thriller for BBC One and is written and directed by Joe Ahearne. When Ellen, a successful architect in her mid-thirties, falls pregnant, she finds maternity cover in Paula: brilliant, enthusiastic and raring to go. Ellen wants to champion her, but something’s not right. Ellen begins to fear for her safety when she suspects her maternity cover has a disturbing agenda. Can her suspicions be explained away as female rivalry and her own insecurity of opting out of work at the top of her game… or do they speak to something deeper?
Additionally two new literary adaptations have been commissioned with screenwriter Kenneth Lonegran adapting E.M. Forster’s Howards End for a four-part series. Finally Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White will be adapted for another four-part series that will also air on BBC One.
Of the announcement, the BBC’s Head of Drama Commissioning Polly Hill said, “”Over the next year, I will continue to reinvent and broaden the range of drama on the BBC and it is because we make great drama for everyone that we can offer audiences and the creative community something unique and distinct.”