Channel 4 has announced a new one-part drama, Help, starring Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer.
From RTS Award-winning writer Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials), Help tells the moving story of a young worker in a fictional Liverpool care home, Sarah (Comer), and her patient Tony (Graham), whose lives are torn apart by the coronavirus pandemic.
Graham said: “Jack is one of the greatest and most truthful writers of our generation and in Help he has crafted a profoundly important piece of social realism.
“I’ve wanted to work with Jodie for ages, and together we’re hugely passionate about shining a light on one of the biggest tragedies of our time and the people at the heart of it.”
After a hard upbringing spent struggling at home, in education and at work, Sarah finally found her calling as a carer at Sunshine Homes.
Sarah has a knack for connecting with the residents, especially 47-year-old Tony whose Early-Onset Alzheimer’s has left him living out his days in the home.
Tony is prone to periods of confusion and sudden outbursts which the other staff cannot handle, but when Sarah steps in, the two form a real bond.
However, in March 2020 the pandemic hits and throws the home into disarray along with everything Sarah has achieved.
Abandoned by the authorities, Sarah and her co-workers are left poorly prepared and ill-equipped to fight off the virus, which pushes them all to extraordinary lengths to protect the patients in their care.
It eventually proves too much for Sarah, who desperately looks for a way out.
Touching on his inspiration for the series, Thorne said: “30,000 people have died unnecessarily in these care homes because of the indifference and incompetence of our government. Hearing the stories of those at the frontline, having people break down in tears on Zoom in front of us has been incredibly moving and galling.
“Getting the story right will be incredibly important, we are aware of the pressure upon us, this has to be written and made with anger and precision. We hope we do it justice.”
Help begins filming in 2021.