KEELEY HAWES, TOBY STEPHENS, TIMOTHY SPALL LEAD BBC SERIES
First look at Keeley Hawes in the series!
The six-episode hourlong series is set in the UK during the Cold War period of the late 1950s, a time when the UK, like much of the world, was dealing with the threat of international espionage and nuclear armageddon.
Helen Flint (Patrick Melrose) will executive produce for Little Island Productions and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The drama was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and will be distributed internationally by BBC Studios. Filming has begun in and around London and Oxford.
The series follows Samuel (Stephens, pictured at right in a first look at the drama), a 40-something Russian Jewish émigré, inventor and designer of bespoke hearing aids, whose clients include former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. The drama follows Samuel and his family, wife Miriam and children Hannah and Sasha, as he is approached by MI5 to demonstrate his work.
It is not his inventions the operatives require, however. Instead Samuel is tasked with the secret mission of obtaining information about his charming, newly acquired friends Kathleen (Hawes, pictured below left) and her husband Richard Shaw MP (Roache) through whom Samuel also meets the impressive Lord Arthur Wallington (Spall). Writer-director Poliakoff’s Russian-born father was a naturalized British electronics engineer, inventor and businessman.
Rounding out cast are Lily Sacofsky (Bancroft) as Samuel’s daughter Hannah, Lucy Cohu (Ripper Street) as his wife Miriam, Gary Beadle (Grantchester) as his right-hand man Courtney, Mark Bonnar (Line of Duty) as Field, Ronald Pickup (The Crown) as Walter and Rose Ayling-Ellis (Reverberations) as Hannah’s friend Esther. Further casting includes Greg Austin, Jordan Coulson, Matthew James Thomas and Fode Simbo.
Said executive producer Flint, a longtime collaborator with Poliakoff on productions such as Close to the Enemy, Shooting the Past and Perfect Strangers: “This piece set in 1958 is hinged at the pivotal point of world history where the past and future are pulling in equal strength and human beings, young and old have little control over the eventual outcome.”
Stephens added: “It’s great to be working with Stephen Poliakoff again after such a long time. I loved working with him on Perfect Strangers; he’s such a unique and original voice in British television. It’s also good to be filming something back home in the UK for the BBC. It’s been a while.” Said Hawes: “I have wanted to work with Stephen for years, so I’m delighted to be part of such a wonderful cast, and can’t wait to spend the summer with them all.”
‘MRS WILSON’ BBC SERIESKEELEY HAWES, IAIN GLEN JOIN RUTH WILSON IN NEW DRAMA
BBC has revealed full cast and 1st photo for their new three part period set drama MRS WILSON based on memoir of Ruth Wilson‘s (she plays the lead) grandmother and her family’s complicated history. Iain Glen, our dearest Keeley Hawes and Fiona Shaw will also star!
YOUR HUSBAND IS MY HUSBAND
Set between 1940s and 1960s London, the series follows Alison Wilson, who thinks she is happily married until her husband dies and a woman turns up on her doorstep claiming that she is the real Mrs. Wilson. Alison is determined to prove the validity of her own marriage – and Alec’s (Iain Glen) love for her – but is instead led into a world of disturbing secrets. Alexander Wilson was a writer, spy and secret service officer who served in the First World War before moving to India to teach as a Professor of English Literature, where he began writing spy novels.Biography | Drama | Mystery
The series will on PBS Masterpiece in USA
Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel of the same name; ‘The Bookshop’ is set in 1959, Florence Green (Emily Mortimer), a free spirited widow, puts grief behind her and risks everything to open up a bookshop – the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough, England. Fighting damp, cold and considerable local apathy she struggles to establish herself but soon her fortunes change for the better. By exposing the narrow minded local townsfolk to the best literature of the day including Nabokov’s scandalizing “Lolita” and Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, she opens their eyes thereby causing a cultural awakening in a town which has not changed for centuries. Her activities bring her a kindred spirit and ally in the figure of Mr Brundish (Bill Nighy) who is himself sick of the town’s stale atmosphere. But this mini social revolution soon brings her fierce enemies: she invites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers and also crosses Mrs. Gamart (Patricia Clarkson), Hardborough’s vengeful, embittered alpha female who is herself a wannabe doyenne of the local arts scene. When Florence refuses to bend to Gamart’s will, they begin a struggle not just for the bookshop but for the very heart and soul of the town.
Touring the Festival Season. No date of release to US or UK.