factual drama

BBC adds cast and gives first look at new Brink’s-Mat robbery drama

Entitled The Gold, the six-episode series was written by Neil Forsyth (Guilt) and will star Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Jack Lowden (Slow Horses), Dominic Cooper (The Preacher) and Charlotte Spencer (Cinderella).

When six men set out on a “typical Old Kent Road armed robbery” of Brink’s-Mat security depot near Heathrow Airport on the 26 November 1983, they inadvertently stumbled upon a pile of gold bullion worth £26 million.

BBC Three announces new drama Life and Death in the Warehouse

L to R, Aimee-Ffion Edwards and Poppy Lee Friar (Credit: Simon Ridgway/BBC)

Inspired by real world accounts of what it is like to be a warehouse worker in Britain, the factual drama comes from the team behind Killed By My Debt and Murdered By My Father

The fictional story follows warehouse worker Alys (Poppy Lee Friar), as her childhood friend Megan (Aimee-Ffion Edwards) joins the same distribution centre as a trainee manager. 

Megan is desperate to keep and excel in her new job and pressures Alys to increase her ‘pick rate’, which puts Alys and her baby at risk. 

Ruth Madeley to star in new drama on the disabled civil rights movement

To mark the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act, the film will tell the true story of the activists who waged an unstoppable campaign for disabled civil rights in Britain.

Madeley said: “To have the opportunity to play such an incredibly powerful character and tell such an important story is honestly a dream, especially within the context of disabled, deaf and neuro-diverse history.

Ear Candy: The Chernobyl Podcast

Scene from Chernobyl

Shocking. Bleak. Controversial. Devastatingly brilliant. All these descriptions are true of HBO and Sky’s five-part retelling of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The HBO and Sky series has been one of the most talked-about dramas of the year so far, lauded by critics and helping to confirm the current golden age of TV.

At times, the events depicted in the programme were so incredible that many viewers have questioned what was real and what is made up.

Sky's Chernobyl: the disaster story that needed to be told

Chernobyl (Credit: Sky/HBO)

“I wanted to make a drama unlike anything else, because Chernobyl was unlike anything else. I wanted it to be as unique as the event itself.” That was the ambitious goal set by writer and producer Craig Mazin for his epic mini-series about the Soviet power plant that caught fire on 26 April 1986, triggering the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. And Mazin has succeeded.

First look at Sheridan Smith in new Jeff Pope drama

Sheridan Smith as Sarah Sak in The Barking Murders (w/t) (Credit: BBC)

The factual drama focuses on the families of the victims of serial killer and rapist Stephen Port (Stephen Merchant), and their fight to find the truth about what happened to Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor.

Now a widely criticised police investigation, the series will shed new light on the case and tell the story from the perspective of the victims’ families including Anthony Walgate’s mother Sarah Sak (Sheridan Smith) and Jack Taylor’s sister Donna Taylor (Jaime Winstone).

Channel 4 commissions factual drama about farmhouse shootings

Steve Pemberton appearing on UKTV's Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled (Credit: UKTV)

The story became notorious at the time, due to the public outcry that his sentence of life imprisonment prompted, Martin having argued that he had used reasonable force to defend his property. One of the burglars, Fred Barras was 16 years old at the time of his death. 

Martin later appealed against his original conviction and was successful, his sentence was reduced and he was released after three years.

Channel 4 Factual get into drama with Shamed

Shamed (w/t), which stars Game of Thrones actress Faye Marsay, centres around the cool and calm Sarah Ivy, whose world collapsed around her 10 years previously.

With the help of her brother she kidnaps two men, Nathan (Nick Blood - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and Mani. The duo claim not to know Sarah or what she would want with them, however a connection is soon revealed...

ITN Productions to diversify with factual drama

The company no longer wishes to be seen solely as a news specialist, and has announced it will be producing more dramas based on real-life events. 

“Our biggest challenge is getting people to understand ITN Productions," said managing director, Mark Browning. "The scale of the genre and programming we do is both a blessing and a curse.

"Our brand says that we do news, but actually our volume of output says that we are a big production company.”

What I'm watching with...Jeff Pope

At the RTS masterclasses November 2015, from left to right: Carolyn Reynolds, Jeff Pope and Jon Mountague

From writing hit show Philomena to co-writing and executive producing Cilla and Mrs Biggs, Jeff Pope has had a successful career in the media.

He started out in television by working as a researcher at ITV's London Weekend Television in 1983. Years later he became Head of Factual Drama at ITV Studios. 

In 2007 he won a BAFTA in screenplay for See No Evil: The Moors Murders. 

At this week's RTS Student Masterclasses he told eager television students that dramas tend to be re-written about fifteen times.