BBC Drama unveil new commissions

BBC logo at Broadcasting House 2010

The BBC Drama department have announced a number of new commissions including Doctor Foster, Poldark, The C Word and Mapp And Lucia.

Doctor Foster, has been commissioned for five part series to air on BBC One. Written by Mike Bartlett the hour long episodes follow Doctor Jenny Foster is a woman in control: she is a trusted GP, the heart of her village, a woman people can trust. But Doctor Foster’s life is about to explode. When she suspects her husband has been having an affair, Doctor Foster is determined to find out the truth.

My ambition with Doctor Foster is to put an intelligent, empowered woman at the centre of the drama and give her a huge battle to overcome, both in her personal and professional life. I am delighted​ to be working with Drama Republic and the BBC on this exciting drama that is truthful, complicated and thrilling. – Mike Bartlett

The C Word is a single drama starring Sheridan Smith as Lisa Lynch. The television dramatisation is an adaptation of Lisa Lynch’s inspiring and candid book about her experience of cancer, based on her popular blog which was launched shortly after her diagnosis in 2008.

Lisa first contacted me via Twitter, and we quickly became friends.  She called me “SS” and I called her “LL”.  Her zest for life was infectious and I was moved and inspired by her courage and bravery.  I couldn’t help but love her.  That’s why I want to tell her story.

For Pete, for her family and for everyone who’s lives are touched by cancer.  I’m so sad that Lisa won’t get to see the finished drama, having been so involved in the development of it.  I’m honoured and humbled that she wanted me to play her on screen, and I hope that I will make her proud. – Sheridan Smith

There is also to be a new version of Poldark with Aidan Turner in the lead role as Ross Poldark. The eight part series sees Britain in the grip of a chilling recession… falling wages, rising prices, civil unrest – only the bankers are smiling. It’s 1783 and Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin.

Over the hour long episodes Ross finds that hope and love can be found when you are least expecting it in the wild but beautiful Cornish landscape.

I’m very excited to play Ross Poldark for the BBC and it’s obviously a huge challenge to honour the extraordinary character Winston Graham created and who Debbie Horsfield has brought new life to. But there’s a terrific team coming together and the scripts are superb, so I can’t wait to get started. – Aidan Turner

There will also be an adaption of Mapp And Lucia. Reworked by Steve Pemberton the comic drama celebrates and lampoons the snobberies and pretensions of small town life. It takes place over the summer of 1930 when Mrs Emmeline Lucas, known to her friends as Lucia, decides to take a holiday in the charming Queen Anne town of Tilling…

As a long-time fan of EF Benson’s ‘Mapp And Lucia’ novels, I’m incredibly proud and privileged to be scripting a brand-new adaptation for the BBC.

I feel sure viewers will relish their time in Tilling, and will enjoy watching the slyly scheming Mapp take on the gloriously haughty Lucia in a dizzying round of bitter bridge parties, devious dinners and malicious musical evenings. – Steve Pemberton

Other dramas announced today include a Lenny Henry drama set in 1970s Dudley, Two Agatha Christie dramas and the renewal of Death In Paradise and Call The Midwife.

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