BBC Drama

Black Earth Rising leads raft of new commissions for BBC Two

(Credit: BBC)

Holland outlined the channel’s long history with successful drama programming, commenting: “Blending strong opinions and bold perspectives with brilliant comic voices and finger-on-the-pulse entertainment. Never afraid of provoking, knowing we may upset people along the way… We commission based on passion, on gut feel, on public service purpose”.

Black Earth Rising will explore the prosecution of international war crimes and the West’s relationship with contemporary Africa, through an interracial family with personal experience of genocide.

Who's who in Troy: Fall of a City

Troy: Fall of a City (BBC/Wild Mercury Productions)

The eight-part series, written by The Night Manager’s David Farr, will portray the epic story of a battle between mortals and gods – and the turbulent romance which sparks the Trojan War.

Told from the perspective of the Trojan family at the heart of the siege, Troy: Fall of a City follows the love affair between Queen Helen and Prince Paris. The romance and subsequent elopement triggers a war between the Trojans and the Greeks as Helen’s jilted husband King Menelaus seeks to get his wife back.

BBC announces adaptation of Le Carré's The Little Drummer Girl

The series is a collaboration between BBC One, AMC and The Ink Factory, who previously worked together on 2016's award-winning spy drama, The Night Manager.

​​Set amidst rising tensions in the Middle East during the 1970s, the show will star Florence Pugh as a young brilliant actress named Charlie, who is preparing for her ultimate role.

BBC Drama controller announces new commissions and writer initiatives

He announced his vision for BBC Drama at an event with Director-General Tony Hall, who said that delivering high quality drama that engages and excites the public is a priority.

Wenger has said that he wants a "strong sense of Britishness" to run through all everything BBC drama does, as it enables Britain to have a strong identity internationally. 

After 5 years away from the BBC, Wenger has been moved by how much programmes have changed. He said that BBC drama became a place where they challenged "creative risk and conventional wisdom".

BBC reveal three-series commission of Call the Midwife

The BBC has commissioned a further three series and three Christmas specials of the multi award-winning drama Call the Midwife.

The deal will take the show through to series nine and follow the nuns and midwives later into the 1960s. Each series will consist of eight hour long episodes.

Call the Midwife has been one of the most popular dramas on British television since it first arrived on screens in 2012, with an average of 10 million viewers per episode.

Jaime Winstone to play Barbara Windsor in BBC1 biopic

Babs, penned by Eastenders and Hustle scriptwriter Tony Jordan, documents 50 years in the life of Dame Barbara. From her evacuation as a child during World War Two through to 1993, before her soap opera debut as the iconic Peggy Mitchell.  

Detailing her troubled marriages and a complicated relationship with her father, the 90 minute film celebrates the actor's early days on stage in Blackpool and her breakthrough performances in the Carry On franchise. 

Hill sweeps to the top

Polly Hill

In a smooth transition, the personable Polly Hill has become the BBC’s new Controller of Drama Commissioning. She takes over without so much as dropping a script from LA-bound Ben Stephenson.

Her new job is one of the most coveted and powerful positions in UK television. Hill is responsible for the wide range of drama across BBC One and BBC Two, an estimated budget of £200m annually, spiced with the challenge of devising a new online policy, principally for BBC Three. She also has oversight of EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City.