If you have listened to this week’s Geektown Radio, you’ll hear how we were praising Sky’s recent drama output, particularly The Five and Lucky Man. It seems the network has no intention of taking it’s foot off the gas as today it announced six new dramas airing on Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic, with some big star names attached in front, and behind the camera. More info on each show below…
Guerrilla (Sky Atlantic)
A co-production between Sky Atlantic and Showtime, and starring the hottest man in Hollywood right now, Idris Elba, Guerrilla is a love story set against the backdrop of one of the most politically explosive times in UK history.
Written by Academy Award winner John Ridley (American Crime, 12 Years a Slave), it tells the story of a politically active couple whose relationship and values are tested when they liberate a political prisoner and form a radical underground cell in 1970s London. Their ultimate target becomes the Black Power Desk, a true-life, secretive counter-intelligence unit within Special Branch dedicated to crushing all forms of black activism.
Idris Elba is quoted as saying “It’s been a long-time desire of mine to collaborate with Mr Ridley and his work here is nothing short of a masterclass in character building and storytelling. TV is in for a treat.”
Guerrilla will be 6 hour long episodes, to be shot in London in the late summer of 2016, and airing in 2017.
Tin Star (Sky Atlantic)
Created by 28 Days Later & Brighton Rock screenwriter Rowan Joffé, Tin Star is a revenge thriller starring the brilliant Tim Roth (Hateful Eight, Lie To Me, and a million other brilliant movies…) and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men, and, of course, Firefly!). The show is produced by the tv hit factory that is Kudos (The Tunnel, Humans, Broadchurch, Spooks, Hustle, Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes…), so you can expect it to be good!
Tin Star tells the story of Jim Worth, an ex-Metropolitan police detective who has moved with his family to the Rocky Mountains to start a new life as a local police chief in an idyllic rural community. When his small town is overrun by migrant workers from a massive new oil refinery – the wave of drugs, prostitution and organised crime that follows them threatens to sweep away everything in its wake.
When Jim makes a stand, his act appears to prompt mysterious assassins to unleash sudden and violent retribution on Jim and his family; the resulting tragedy irrevocably shattering the peace they had found in this once perfect mountain idyll and transforming their remote sanctuary into a hellish and inescapable prison.
Who was behind the attack? Did the oil company – fronted by urbane corporate liaison, Mrs Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks) – hire the assassins to thwart Jim’s discovery of a shocking cover-up? Or is the police chief’s violent, alcoholic past as an undercover cop finally catching up with him?
Devastated by the harrowing acts of brutality enacted on his family, a voice from Jim’s past returns – his long-suppressed, booze and drug addicted alter-ego Jack Devlin. Taunting the police chief’s every waking moment, Devlin, the poisonous voice in Jim’s head, speaks only of violent and bloody revenge.
Fuelled by guilt, fear and shame, Jim’s resolve to keep the darkest part of himself hidden from the world weakens; finally succumbing, Worth releases Devlin, an internal rage made manifest. And in so doing, the devil inside goes on to consume Jim almost completely, becoming an even greater threat to the family and the town, than the assassins themselves.
Riviera (Sky Atlantic)
Oscar-winning writer/director Neil Jordan (The Borgias, Michael Collins) has teamed up with Booker Prize-winning author John Banville (The Sea) to create Riviera, starring Julia Stiles (the Jason Bourne movies, Dexter).
Georgina (Stiles) is newly married to billionaire Constantine Clios when he is killed in a yacht explosion. She is shocked to discover the fortune that maintained his immaculate, ever-so-tasteful lifestyle is tainted with dishonesty, double-dealing, crime, and ultimately murder.
Helped by Constantine’s first wife, Georgina will undergo an education in lying, double-dealing, outright theft and shocking criminality. She has to learn fast to maintain the Clios mansion and save the family from its enemies and from itself. Hiding her bloodstained fingers inside Chanel gloves, she soon reveals herself to be an A-plus student in the brutal art of survival.
Delicious (Sky 1)
Written by Mr. Selfridge’s Dan Sefton and starring Dawn French, Delicious is set in Cornwall, and is described as a story of love, heartbreak, food and female friendship. Dawn stars as the ‘sensual and passionate’ cook Gina, who was once married to Leo Vincent, a successful entrepreneur, chef and hotel owner, with whom she shares a daughter. Leo made his fortune from his exceptional Italian cooking – a family tradition he inherited from his ex-wife – and runs the idyllic Penrose Hotel in the Tamar Valley.
Since divorcing Gina, Leo’s culinary empire has continued to grow, with the fruits of success now being shared with his new wife Sam. However, Leo is keeping a secret which is set to upturn all of their lives. In a friendship already born out of betrayal, Gina and Sam face the secrets and scandal that will bind them together in the most unlikely of circumstances.
Jamestown (Sky 1)
Jamestown comes from Carnival Films, who are the multi award-winning producers of Downtown Abbey and Lucky Man, and is written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise). It’s an 8-part series starring Max Beesley (Mad Dogs, Bodies) & Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock…, Snatch, Primeval).
Set in 1619, Jamestown follows the settlers as they establish a community in the New World. Amongst those landing on shore are a group of women destined to be married to the men of Jamestown, including three spirited women from England: Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick), Alice (Sophie Rundle) and Verity (Niamh Walsh). Leaving their old lives behind, these women have embarked on this journey to start afresh, fulfil their dreams and become the female pioneers of an exciting new western outpost.
Battling against inhospitable wilderness, suspicious indigenous people and a host of brutal challenges with ambition, power and entrepreneurial spirit on their side, these pioneers will define a new way of life. Jamestown will reveal the spirit of adventure and true grit of these early adventurers who travelled in search of a better life. Leading the cast of settlers are Max Beesley, Jason Flemyng, Dean Lennox-Kelly, Shaun Dooley, Stuart Martin, Steven Waddington, Matt Stokoe and Burn Gorman.
With whole-hearted tales of love, affairs, births, marriage and death, Jamestown tells a modern story in a historic setting. With all manner of trials, the settlers come together to conquer and adjust to the realities of their new lives on the other side of the world. Jamestown is a place for them to build new lives and start again but it is also somewhere past secrets can be buried.
The Last Dragonslayer (Sky 1)
This year’s Sky Christmas spectacular will be The Last Dragonslayer, based on the first of Jasper Fforde’s series of novels. Adapted by Tom Edge (Scrotal Recall), the series will star Ellise Chappell, John Bradley (Game of Thrones) and Ricky Tomlinson (The Royle Family).
Adding to Sky’s ever growing collection of original drama, this epic adventure is set in the Ununited Kingdoms. A magical blend of past and present, medieval and modern, the story follows indentured orphan Jennifer Strange (Ellise Chappell) who reluctantly discovers her destiny is to become the last Dragonslayer.