BBC One announces five new ‘key drama productions’ for 2012, including War of the Roses, The Moonstone and Truckers.
Announcing today’s new commissions, Ben Stephenson (Pictured, right) says, “2012 is a massive year for drama on BBC One as Danny Cohen and I up the scale and pace of our output in order to secure the next generation of mainstream hits, risk taking and originality.
“The unique nature of our funding means that only BBC One drama can bring you this kind of quality and range to ensure there really is something for everyone. I believe BBC One showcases the biggest and broadest range of what mainstream drama can offer of any channel in the world. This year alone will see BBC One launching over 20 new titles, as well as bringing back over 15 returning series.”
The dramas are, War of the Roses, a serial based on Philippa Gregory’s novels and adapted by Emma Frost. Based on the best-selling series of books The Cousins’ War, by acclaimed historical fiction novelist Philippa Gregory. This new series will be set against the backdrop of one of this country’s most bloody periods, The War of the Roses, when two dynasties, the Yorks and the Lancasters, fought through several generations for the right to rule England.
The Secret of Crickley Hall, is an daptation of James Herbert’s best-selling ghost story especially for Halloween. A haunted house chiller, full of scares, but underpinned by the moving tales of children and parents separated, 70 years apart. The Moonstone was described by TS Eliot as ‘the first and greatest of English detective novels’, it is widely regarded as being responsible for introducing the first fictional policeman into literary fiction – Sergeant Cuff of Scotland Yard. The BBC say this will be event drama for Christmas 2012.
Truckers is William Ivory’s new series which introduces a rogue’s gallery of irascible characters, men and women, all of whom work for the same haulage company driving 40 ton articulated lorries across the Midlands The BBC note originality, however this drama doesn’t sound so different to the Central Television for Channel 4 soap opera Family Pride which starred Paul Henry and Gabrielle Drake and was also set around a Midland haulage company!
Room On The Broom is another magical tale about friendship and family from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. A story about a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat.
“BBC One is the home of big characters, big emotions and big stories – and it is these three components that will define drama on the channel over the next few years. The five new commissions announced today deliver on the big three themes.” Adds Ben Stephenson, continuing, “War Of The Roses is one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted by the BBC – a huge slice of history told from the perspective of the powerful women behind the throne. The Secret Of Crickley Hall, written and directed by Joe Ahearne, is a terrifying and haunting ghost story. Truckers by William Ivory, a series about truck drivers whose lives on the road conflict with their lives at home, is full of big laughs and emotions.
“On the back of the success of Great Expectations this Christmas comes The Moonstone, the world’s first detective story and a powerful love story with the brilliant detective Sergeant Cuff at the centre. Also next Christmas, Room On The Broom, from the makers of The Gruffalo, is a captivating story about friendship, family, cats and witches.”
All five dramas detailed were commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One (Pictured above). Other drama announcements by the BBC today include a re-commission of Death In Paradise while Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid, Sarah Lancashire, Nicola Walker and Ronni Ancona are to star in Sally Wainwright’s new series Antony And Cleopatra, Matthew Macfadyen has been cast in lead role of Ripper Street while Hayley Atwell is to star in the lead role of Restless by William Boyd.