Colin Farrell joins Andrew Haigh’s series The North Water

Colin Farrell (Credit: BBC)

The series of the same name is set in the UK during the late 1850s and follows Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who tries to escape his past by signing up as a ship’s doctor for a whaling expedition in the Arctic.

On board the ship, Sumner encounters Henry Drax (Colin Farrell) the ship’s psychotic harpooner who’s developed an indifference towards killing.

Sumner’s attempts to flee the horrors of his past soon becomes a search for redemption, as he fights for survival in the Arctic.

Reggie Yates’ diversity documentary among new BBC commissions

Reggie Yates (Credit: BBC/Ellis Parrinder)

The BBC Two documentary will be joined by a host of specialist programmes that range from the artistry of dance to new series The Novels That Shaped Our World (w/t), which will mark the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe and the origins behind the British novel.

“This year we’ll be giving you a front-row seat to the best in arts and culture from celebrating the novel and the art of poetry with landmark programing, to encouraging participation in the arts with the return of Get Creative,” said Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts at BBC.

BBC Two searches for the greatest icon of the 20th Century

(Credit: BBC)

Co-produced with The Open University, Icons will tell the history of the 20th century through the people who shaped it, inviting the public to vote on 28 icons shortlisted by a panel of academics.

Each episode will focus on different categories of excellence, including leaders, explorers, scientists, entertainers, activists, sports stars, and artists and writers.

The series follows influential figures such as Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Billie Holiday, Martin Luther King Jr and Virginia Woolf.