When it arrived on our screens in 2002, Spooks was truly revolutionary. British telly had mastered the cerebral spy thriller – most notably with the BBC’s revered adaptation of John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, starring Alec Guinness as master spy George Smiley – but Spooks was different.
Bringing a cherished project to television can take several years’ hard graft; for it to take decades is much more unusual. But, thanks to BritBox, an adaptation of The Beast Must Die – written by Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis under his crime-writer pen name, Nicholas Blake – has finally reached the TV screen.
Sitcoms as perfectly realised and executed as Channel 4’s Drop the Dead Donkey are exceedingly rare. That this newsroom caper, set mostly in the offices of Globelink News, was a topical satire, filmed partly the day before transmission to keep the material as up to date as possible, speaks volumes of the skills of creators Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, the brilliant ensemble cast and its director, the energetic Liddy Oldroyd. Unusually, Oldroyd directed all six series, some 65 episodes. Tragically, she died in 2002, aged 47, four years after Drop the Dead Donkey ended.
Entitled A Sword in my Bones, it is based on an original story by Gaby Chiappe, creator of the first series.
Billy Howle is set to reprise his role as the talented but troubled Detective Nigel Strangeways, who investigated the hit and run of a six-year-old boy in the first series.
Howle said: “A lot of hard work by all the cast and crew went into making the first original drama for BritBox, during a pandemic, and it seems to have paid off.
The Beast Must Die creators Gaby Chiappe, Dome Karukoski and Nathaniel Parker tell us the stories behind this modern adaption of the novel by Nicholas Blake/Cecil Day Lewis for BritBox, with a special behind the scenes featurette.
Written by Toni Grisoni (Southcliffe) and Simon Maxwell (Deep State), the eight-part series will follow two families, the Marlows and the Wyatts, who have been feuding in the ‘Edgelands’ of the Thames estuary for centuries.
In the land of mudlarks, smugglers, entrepreneurs and opportunists, the two families are natural enemies with a mutual fascination.
Chaired by Caroline Frost, writer Gaby Chiappe, director Dome Karukoski and actor and executive producer Nathaniel Parker will tell us the stories behind this modern and new adaption of the novel by Nicholas Blake/Cecil Day Lewis ahead of its release on BritBox on Thursday 27th May.
“In conversation” with RTS Yorkshire Chair Fiona Thompson in February, ITV Content Delivery’s James Macmillan recalled: “We were totally blown away… It’s been a very tough year for everyone, but I can’t think of a better way of ending 2020 than by winning the award.”
The Leeds-based business development manager explained how the Carry On movie was restored to its original condition.
No-one could have expected that a 1966 film would win a 2020 RTS Yorkshire Centre Award for post-production excellence. But that's exactly what happened when a restored version of Carry On Up the Khyber caught the attention of judges.
The new cast members will guest feature as suspects in the first film of the Bath-based detective drama series, currently filming, alongside leads Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia.
Gouveia and Watkins will reprise their roles as the unlikely pairing of the gutsy DCI McDonald and the humble DS Dodds.
James Murray also returns as Chief Superintendent Houseman, handing McDonald and Dodds three new murder mysteries to solve. Lily Sacofsky joins as DC Milena Pachiorkowski.