It was a busy old day over at the Beeb yesterday (Wednesday 18th November). Not only did DG Tony Hall and Controller Of Drama Ben Stephenson get everyone into a lather by announcing two new episodes of Luther, they also announced more new crime drama for 2015. This announcement included news about a second series of one of the best crime dramas of 2013 – Jane Campions’s extraordinary, hypnotic, dream-like Top Of The Lake. Could be a good ‘un, 2015.
Time to break it all down…
One Of Us (BBC1)
A four-parter, written by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing) One Of Us is a modern thriller set in the Highlands of Scotland and Edinburgh. A horrific double murder rocks the lives of two families living side by side in rural Scotland. But instead of focussing on the investigation, One Of Us explores the fallout for the grieving relatives, and the dark consequences that threaten to shatter their lives. One Of Us is an intense morality tale which will keep the audience guessing until its devastating climax. Harry and Jack say: “We’re excited to be telling a modern-day parable that explores big themes and ideas through the lens of a very personal, character-driven story”.
A six-part series, adapted from the Len Deighton by Robert Wade and Neal Purvis (who have worked on the recent James Bond films), SS-GB is a thriller set in 1940’s London, with the premise that the Germans won the Battle Of Britain and London is under Nazi occupation. Archer is a Scotland Yard detective working under the SS facing the dilemma of whether to effectively collaborate or join the resistance. An explosive thriller that will ask: what would you do, faced with stakes as high as this? Robert Wade and Neal Purvis say: “Len Deighton’s SS-GB is a brilliant tale of espionage that dares to think the unthinkable, and we are very excited to be adapting it for television.”
Cuffs is a fast-paced and adrenalin-fuelled cop show commissioned for weekdays at 8pm on BBC One, the first new drama series for this slot in over eight years. It has eight episodes and will run every week night (or so the press release intimated). This is quite ambitious. Packed full of humour and humanity, it’s an authentic and visceral drama portraying the everyday rollercoaster of being a police officer in the UK. Overstretched and under-resourced, the characters have to deal with everything the job throws at them – including the constant threat of physical violence and verbal abuse. The series focuses on the relationships between the officers and detectives and the impact that this job has on their personal lives. A character-led drama as well as a police procedural, set in a vibrant Brighton. Creator Julie Gearey says: “As a massive fan of cop shows, I’m thrilled to create a new ensemble police series for BBC One. Intimate and realistic, we’ll be right on the shoulders of our cops as we follow them into every corner of lives in which work pressures don’t end at the station door.”
Top Of The Lake (BBC2)
Award winning drama Top of the Lake, from Academy-award winning director Jane Campion will return for a second series. Written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, the story will be set in Sydney, Australia. So a move away from the green, lush, sparsely populated Laketop and into the city. Let’s hope Elisabeth Moss returns.