New drama brings army life in the sixties to BBC One

New drama brings army life in the sixties to BBC One

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Tuesday, 19th September 2017
Jessica Raine‎ as Alison Laithwaite in The Last Post (Credit: BBC)

Jessie Buckley (War and Peace) and Ben Miles (The Crown) star in 1960s drama The Last Post for BBC One.

The six-part drama is based on writer Peter Moffat’s childhood experiences growing up in a unit of Royal Military Police, and his mother’s struggle to act as army life demanded and be who she wanted to be.

The Last Post is set in Aden, Yemen, and shines a light on army life in the 1960s, juxtaposing the glamour and sexual liberation of the decade with the extreme dangers of war.

Centred on the lives of the Royal Military Police officers and their families, the drama follows sophisticated newlywed Honor (Jessie Buckley) and her husband RMP Captain Joe Martin (Jeremy Neumark-Jones) as they arrive in Aden for their new adventure. But does Honor really know the man she’s married? And how will she adjust to life in this new environment?

She soon meets Alison (Jessica Raine - Call The Midwife), a strong-willed and funny woman who is married to Lieutenant Ed Laithwaite (Stephen Campbell Moore - History Boys), a deep thinking solider who threatens the army’s ideals with his progressive views. Along the way, the young married couple have lost each other, and Alison is keen to lead Honor astray into her life of excitement, drinking and infidelity.

Mary Markham (Amanda Drew - Broadchurch) is quite unlike carefree Alison and acts as the perfect officer’s wife, the one people trust and turn to for help. Her husband Major Harry Markham (Ben Miles) is the Commanding Officer and prides himself on never losing a soldier serving under him, viewing the men as his own family.

Amidst the family and sexual politics in the community, the bigger picture of what is right and wrong and what they are doing in the army begins to mount on the couples.

“Young married couples in the heart of the Sixties living in extremely close proximity in a very alien and dangerous environment has always struck me as ripe territory for drama," said writer Peter Moffat. 

"Men full of vim, vigor and a desire to be heroes in a situation where that isn't always possible; alongside young women who are starting to feel the emancipation of the Sixties and a sense of new freedoms but who are living in a constrained setting where their role is supposed to be merely supportive."

"Throw in tumultuous love stories alongside the unexplored territory of this period in our history and you have a pretty heady mix," he added. "This was my parents world and one I have wanted to write about all my career.”

Moffat is known for his award-winning drama Silk and recently won five primetime Emmy awards for his American crime series The Night Of, based on his hit British series Criminal Justice about a man who is charged with the murder of a woman he met on a night of partying. 

The Last Post also stars Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk) as Lance Corporal Tony Armstrong, Chris Reilly (Homefront) as Sergeant Alex Baxter and Essie Davis (The White Princess) as war reporter Martha Franklin.


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Jessie Buckley (War and Peace) and Ben Miles (The Crown) star in 1960s drama The Last Post for BBC One.