On the eve of the 2016 US presidential election, when Donald Trump was getting his first inkling that he would be elected to the world’s highest political office, Russell T Davies was texting the controller of BBC drama about an idea they had long been discussing. “I wrote to Piers Wenger and said, ‘If he wins tomorrow, it’s time I write this show now’ – and he said yes,” recalls Davies.
Adapted from Eugene McCabe’s classic novel of the same name, the three-part drama stars Ann Skelly (Red Rock), Matthew Rhys (The Americans) and Jamie Dornan (The Fall).
The nineteenth century period drama is set in the rural countryside of Fermanagh, Ireland, following young catholic Beth Winters (Skelly) and her dysfunctional relationship with her Protestant stepfather Billy Winters (Rhys).
1. A Discovery of Witches, Sky One and Now TV, Fridays, 9pm
Anita Gupta has been working in art departments for TV and film for over 20 years, from prop buying to production design and set decorating. She has worked on films and television dramas including A Monster Calls, Eric and Ernie, Endeavour and most recently Wonder Woman. In our latest Tea Break Tips video, Gupta talks about her day-to-day role, and the important skills and character traits you need to be a set decorator.
On 18 September 2016, Steve November has a problem. At 9:00pm that night, the slot arrives in ITV’s schedule that would normally be filled by the season premiere of Downton Abbey.
As Director of Drama for the ITV network, November has to find a replacement – Downton is ending, with the last ever episode to air this coming Christmas Day. And, given Downton’s blockbuster ratings performance, it’s going to be a fiendishly difficult act to follow.