Drama

Jeff Pope reflects on his TV career in screenwriting

Martin Freeman in A Confession (Credit: ITV)

You could be forgiven for thinking that Jeff Pope was obsessed by the macabre. Why else would he be drawn to such odious topics as the Moors murders, serial killer Fred West or Britain’s last hangman, Albert Pierrepoint?

He puts it like this: “If drama is about conflict, which it is, you’re looking for the extremes of conflict. Those areas are love, fate and, I would argue, crime.

“I am not a depressive person or ghoulish but it’s the old journalist in me: there’s a good story in it.”

BBC commissions new Scottish drama Guilt

Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives in Guilt (credit: BBC)

The four-part series will follow Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe) and Jamie Sives (Chernobyl) as brothers Max and Jake, who unintentionally run over and kill an old man called Walter.

As Jake is uninsured and under the influence, his successful and seemingly more responsible brother Max convinces him to cover-up the accident.

However, when relatives and neighbours begin to suspect that Walter hasn’t passed away through natural causes, the consequences of their actions come back to haunt them in ways that neither could have imagined.

Sarah Lancashire to star in new Channel 4 drama The Accident

Sarah Lancashire in The Accident (credit: Channel 4)

The four-part series will complete a trilogy of dramas created for Channel 4, alongside Kiri and National Treasure.

Written by RTS-award winning screenwriter Jack Thorne, The Accident follows the aftermath of a catastrophic explosion on a construction site in a Welsh town. As the community is torn apart by grief and anger, they search for someone to blame.

Filming begins on new ITV drama by Luther creator Neil Cross

Russell Tovey (Credit: BBC)

The four-part limited series is led by Russell Tovey (Years and Years) who plays Nathan, a well-meaning but directionless man struggling to escape his past.

Nathan’s devoted married life becomes deeply unsettled when he receives shocking news from Bob, an unwelcome figure from his past, played by Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster).

This news causes a terrible, buried secret to resurface, triggering a series of disastrous events as Nathan struggles for redemption.

Russell T Davies creates new drama for Channel 4

Russel T Davies and the cast of Boys (Credit: Channel 4)

Beginning in 1981 and tracking through the decade, Boys charts three young men discovering and celebrating their gay identity in the backdrop of the devastating AIDS crisis.

The five-part series stars singer Olly Alexander from the band Years and Years as 18-year-old Ritchie Tozer. As Tozer begins a new life in London, he meets party boy Roscoe (Omari Douglas) and the unassuming Colin (Callum Scott Howells), two fellow gay men who soon become his closest friends.

BBC Two announces new crime thriller Giri/Haji

Takehiro Hira as Kenzo in Giri/Haji (Credit: BBC)

Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame) follows Kenzo Moru (Takehiro Hira), a Tokyo detective who must travel to London in search of his allegedly murderous brother Yuto (Yosuke Kubozuka), whom many believe to be already dead.

Accused of brutally killing the nephew of a Japanese mobster, Yuto’s actions threaten to unleash a gang war in Tokyo. In London, separated from any semblance of familiarity, Kenzo must navigate this strange new city to uncover whether his brother is guilty, or indeed still alive.

Cast announced for new Sky Atlantic drama I Hate Suzie

Daniel Ings, Leila Farzad and Nathaniel Martello-White (Credit: Sky)

I Hate Suzie follows Suzie Pickles (Piper), a celebrity whose career is put in jeopardy when she becomes the victim of a hacking scandal that causes a compromising photo of herself to be leaked.

The eight-part series follows Suzie’s excruciating journey to hold her life together alongside her best friend and manager Naomi (Farzad), as she struggles to keep her career afloat and her marriage to her husband, Cob (Ings), begins to hang by a thread.

TV producers discuss the importance of locally produced drama in Dublin

Zoe (Amy Manson) in Raw (Credit: RTÉ, Ecosse Films & Octagon Films)

Remaining “local” in terms of story, themes and talent was key. In fact, Paul Marquess – MD of PGM TV and a veteran of soaps including Brookside and Hollyoaks – argued that what worked, in his experience, was being “very local”. 

Marquess said: “It is much harder to build a franchise with global appeal… but there is a huge appetite for quality English-speaking drama.” He called for more locally produced drama in Dublin, adding: “This is a cool place!”