Filming has begun in Yorkshire on the third series of the critically acclaimed BBC One drama The Syndicate, from the pen of BAFTA award-winning writer Kay Mellor OBE, (In the Club) The third series, due for transmission next year is set in the once impressive Hazelwood Manor, which overlooks all of Scarborough andis the family home of the Hazelwoods, has now fallen into disrepair.
Lord Hazelwood (Anthony Andrews, The King’s Speech, Birdsong, Brideshead Revisited) is fading fast, but Lady Hazelwood (Alice Krige, Thor: The Dark World, Spooks), his second wife, seems more concerned with maintaining the lifestyle she’s become accustomed to whilst his stepson Spencer (Sam Phillips, In the Flesh, Pete Versus Life) seems intent on spending his inheritance as quickly as possible. Meanwhile ‘downstairs’ they have had to seriously reduce their staff;now there are only five left: housekeeper Sarah (Cara Theobold, Downton Abbey, Scrotal Recall, Call The Midwife), cleaner Dawn (Elizabeth Berrington, Stella, Trying Again), cook Julie (Melanie Hill, Cilla),groomsman cum odd-job man Sean (Richard Rankin, The Crimson Field) and gardener Godfrey (Lenny Henry, The Magicians, Harry & Paul),
Godfrey formed the lottery syndicate with his colleagues years ago as he was convinced he
could work out how to win it mathematically. He is a high functioning person with Asperger’s
syndrome and as the series opens he is certain he’s finally cracked the system. He gives
cleaner Dawn a list of this week’s ‘winning lottery numbers’ according to his statistics. A
series of mishaps ensues and all seems lost – but then it hits them: seemingly against all the
odds, they have won £14 million! Everyone is ecstatic. Dawn, pregnant with an unplanned
third child, can’t wait to tell her husband Andy (Kieran O’Brien, Cracker, Grantchester), son Noah (newcomer Bradley Johnson) and beautiful daughter Amy (Daisy Head,Fallen, Endeavour) who is reluctantly helping her out at Hazelwood Manor but has ambitions to become the next Cara Delevingne. And then, on the night of the win, Amy suddenly goes missing…
Kay Mellor says: “The Syndicate 3 is a completely new series, with a fresh new world and
brand new characters, the staff of a crumbling stately home: the Cook, House Manager, Gardener, Cleaner and Game Keeper. It’s about new money – ordinary people who win a life changing amount of money on the lottery. I was excited by the idea of setting the syndicate winners amongst the old money of a crumbling stately home, where Lord and Lady Hazel – wood’s inherited money is fast running out. It’s a delicious premise which enables me to look at class and social politics within the framework of a drama – ‘downstairs’ becoming instantly wealthier than ‘upstairs’. I’m able to explore how the lack of money and greed have a devastating effect and how a sudden change in fortune can bring about its own problems. ”
The Syndicate is expected in 2015 on BBC One.