Home TV News BBC Announces 12 Dramas – From Football To Time Travel To Crime & Family

BBC Announces 12 Dramas – From Football To Time Travel To Crime & Family

Eleven new dramas, and a two season renewal for 'Blue Lights'

by Dave Elliott

The BBC has announced 11 new drama commissions, and a 2-season renewal for police drama ‘Blue Lights’, all of which will be coming to the UK broadcaster over the coming months. It’s an interesting mix of subject matter, from family and crime drama, to a series about football, to time travel, a near-future drama, and more. Here is a breakdown of everything.

Dear England

James Graham and Joseph Fiennes (Image: Gary William Ogle)

The BBC has commissioned Dear England, a new drama series about Gareth Southgate and the England men’s football team, based on James Graham’s (Sherwood, The Way, Quiz) smash-hit National Theatre play of the same name. Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale, Shakespeare in Love) will star as Gareth Southgate. Rupert Goold (Judy, King Charles III, The Hollow Crown), who directed Dear England on stage, will direct the series. The four-part drama will be written by James Graham and made for BBC One and BBC iPlayer by Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Quiz, Sitting in Limbo).

It’s time to change the game. The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t the England team win at their own game? With the worst track record for penalties in the world, Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt to take team and country back to the promised land.

Dear England is a fictionalised account of the struggles and successes of England’s football teams, based on extensive research and interviews. The stage play premiered at the National Theatre to five-star reviews and a sell-out run in 2023, before transferring to London’s West End.

Film Club

Aimee Lou Wood (Image: Matt Holyoak) and Ralph Davis (Image: Michael Shelford)

The BBC has commissioned new romantic comedy-drama Film Club, the screenwriting debut from actors Aimee Lou Wood (Living, Sex Education, White Lotus s3) and Ralph Davis (SAS Rogue Heroes, Life After Life, Othello). The six-part series will be made by Gaumont (Locked In, Obsession, For Her Sins) for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer. Co-creator Aimee Lou Wood, who won a BAFTA for her role in Sex Education, will star in Film Club as Evie.

Every Thursday. 9pm. Tom and Evie watch a film together in her garage. Evie lovingly decorates the space to match the film of the week – from a yellow brick road for The Wizard of Oz to a spacecraft for Alien. It’s magical. They’re there for the love of the movies. Or at least, that’s what they tell themselves.

In reality, Tom is madly in love with Evie. What he doesn’t know is that Evie is in love with him too. But when Tom accepts a job at the other end of the country, their happily ever after comes under threat. He’s leaving in six weeks. That means Evie has six film clubs left to tell Tom how she feels, or risk losing him forever.

Evie is going to have to navigate all of this amongst the chaos of her family home – her eccentric and unconventional mother, Suz, and her younger sister Izzy. A trio of women full of love, and dysfunction, in equal measure.

Lions (w/t)

Richard Gadd (Image: Stanley Morgan)

The BBC has commissioned Lions (working title), an original six-part drama about two men across the decades, written and created by the multi-award-winning writer and performer Richard Gadd (Baby Reindeer, Sex Education). Set and filmed in and around Glasgow, the series is made by Mam Tor Productions (a Banijay UK company) for BBC One, BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer.

When Niall’s estranged ‘brother’ Ruben shows up at his wedding, it leads to an explosion of violence that catapults us back through their lives. Spanning almost forty years from the 1980s to the present day, this ambitious series will cover the highs and lows of the brothers’ relationship, from them meeting as teenagers to their falling out as adults – with all the good, bad, terrible, funny, angry, and challenging moments along the way. It will capture the wild energy of a changing city – a changing world, even – and try to get to the bottom of the difficult question… What does it mean to be a man?


The BBC has commissioned Mint, a darkly comic and unconventional drama about what it means to be part of a crime family, from writer and filmmaker Charlotte Regan who garnered huge critical acclaim for her recent, BAFTA-nominated film Scrapper.

This eight-part series, from producers Fearless Minds and House Productions, chooses not to focus on the usual suspects – the godfather or the heavy – preferring instead to follow the kids, the mum and the grandma in the family. It’s a story about the love, darkness, humour, heartbreak and plain weirdness of living alongside that world, and what happens when you’re forced to take control of it.


William Mager (Image: Peter Ives Photography)

The BBC has commissioned Reunion, an emotional thriller of revenge and redemption, which follows the journey of Brennan, a deaf man determined to right his wrongs, while unravelling the truth behind the events that led him to prison. Produced by Warp Films, the four-part series for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, is written by William Mager, a deaf writer originally from Sheffield, who will also executive produce. It is set and filmed in and around Sheffield and Doncaster.

‘Reunion’ features Brennan, who embodies the struggle of a man caught between two worlds, unable to fully integrate into the hearing world and shunned by the deaf community. Amidst this isolation, Brennan’s only meaningful relationship is with his estranged daughter Ellen, who he hasn’t seen in over a decade while he’s been in prison.

The Dream Lands

Kayleigh Llewellyn (Image: Karla Gowlett)

The BBC has commissioned ‘The Dream Lands, a coming-of-age story with a twist, based on Rosa Rankin-Gee’s enthralling novel Dreamland, and brought to life for TV by Kayleigh Llewellyn, the BAFTA-award winning creator and writer of acclaimed series, In My Skin.

Set in a near future Margate, against a backdrop of soaring inequality, The Dream Lands tells the story of Chance, a young woman who discovers life and love, while being forced to fight for her family’s survival in a world that’s crumbling around her.

It’s 2039 and temperatures are soaring, seas are rising, and the political climate is equally as menacing. Chance is living a life of crime just to get by, when her community is singled out for a government rejuvenation scheme, promising to bring her coastal town back to life. But when Chance falls in love with Franky, a girl with ties to the establishment, she and those closest to her begin to realise that all may not be as it seems.

The Dream Lands is a thrilling voyage of romantic awakening and self-discovery, a defiant community fighting back. Part conspiracy thriller and part relationship drama, the story blazes with the enduring power of love and hope, in a world spinning out of control.

The Listeners

Rebecca Hall (Image: Daemian Smith and Christine Suarez) and Ollie West (Ellius Grace)

The BBC has commissioned The Listeners, starring Rebecca Hall (Christine, The Town, Vicky Christina Barcelona) and based on the novel by Jordan Tannahill, who has also written the adaptation.

Produced by Element Pictures (Normal People, The Favourite, Poor Things), a Fremantle company, and directed by Janicza Bravo (Zola, Poker Face, Mrs America) for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, the series centres around Claire (Rebecca Hall), a popular English teacher, who begins to hear a low humming sound that no one else around her can hear.

This seemingly innocuous noise gradually upsets the balance of her life, increasing tension between herself and her husband, Paul, and daughter, Ashley. But despite multiple doctors, no obvious source or medical cause can be found. But when she discovers that a student of hers, Kyle (Ollie West – Hamnet), can also hear the sound, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship. Finding themselves increasingly isolated from their families, friends and colleagues, they fall in with a disparate group of neighbours, led by a charismatic couple, Jo and Omar, who also claim they can hear The Hum – and who believe it could be a gift, heard only by a “chosen few.”

The Ministry of Time

Kaliane Bradley (Image: Robin Christian) and Alice Birch (Image: Georgina Ower)

The BBC has commissioned ‘The Ministry of Time, a new drama based on Kaliane Bradley’s hotly anticipated debut novel of the same name, adapted by Alice Birch (Normal People, The End We Start From, Dead Ringers).

The Ministry of Time, a newly established government department, is gathering ‘expats’ from across history in an experiment to test the viability of time travel. Commander Graham Gore (an officer on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 Arctic expedition) is one such figure rescued from certain death – alongside an army captain from the fields of the Somme, a plague victim from the 1600s, a widow from revolutionary France, and a soldier from the seventeenth century.

The expats are placed with 21st-century liaisons, known as ‘bridges’, in unlikely flatshares. Gore has to learn about contemporary life from scratch: from air travel to industrial warfare, from feminism to Spotify, from cinema to indoor plumbing; and he must negotiate cohabiting with the ambitious modern woman who works as his bridge. After an awkward beginning, the pair start to find pleasure and comfort in each other’s company, developing a relationship that is simultaneously tender, intense and profoundly unprofessional; and the expats, adrift in a new era, form friendships that ground and support them in the lonely 21st century, where they have outlived everyone they ever knew and loved.

When a deeper conspiracy at the Ministry begins to reveal itself, the bridge must reckon with what she does next. Will she save or sacrifice the exiled misfits she has come to care for so deeply?

The Split Up

Ursula Rani Sarma (Image: Helen Warner) and Abi Morgan (Image: Ruth Crafer)

The BBC has commissioned The Split Up, a new six-part series featuring the high-stakes world of Manchester’s divorce law circuit, where one family of lawyers, the Kishans, reigns supreme.

The Split Up’s story and characters are created by Ursula Rani Sarma (Smother, Delicious) and based on ‘The Split’ created by Abi Morgan, who will executive produce alongside Sarma and ‘The Split’ alumni, Lucy Dyke, Jane Featherstone and producer Sumrah Mohammed.

Kishan Law is a British-Asian high-net-worth family law firm in Manchester, noted for its clientele and its reputation. They are the ‘go to firm’ for Manchester’s elite who come to them for their excellence, integrity, and discretion. But the future and legacy of Kishan Law hangs in the balance when a family secret from the past comes to light, throwing their professional and personal lives into turmoil.

‘The Split Up’ explores the weight of parental expectations, the forces that keep families together and the truths that tear them apart. Welcome to Kishan Law. Welcome to the family.

This City is Ours

The BBC has commissioned This City is Ours, an epic new crime drama created by writer Stephen Butchard (The Good Mothers, The Last Kingdom, Five Daughters) and made by Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Quiz, Sitting in Limbo) for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

‘This City is Ours’ is the story of Michael, a man who for all of his adult life has been involved in organised crime… but for the first time in his life, Michael is in love. For the first time in his life, he sees beyond the day-to-day, he sees a future: something to win and something to lose – Diana.

‘This City is Ours’ tells the story of Michael and Diana’s love affair, set against the disintegration of Michael’s crime gang. For years, together with his friend Ronnie, Michael has successfully been bringing cocaine into the City and beyond, directly from Columbia; but when a shipment goes missing, then he knows their Kingdom is under attack.

‘This City’ explores what happens when Ronnie’s son Jamie decides he wants to inherit their kingdom and that there is no longer a place for Michael at the table. Both Michael and Jamie have bold ideas to modernise the gang and they will battle for control of it. But Michael’s biggest battle will be to save the woman he loves and the child he has always wanted.

This is a story about family and love destroyed and corrupted by ambition, pride and greed. It’s a story about power: what we will do to secure and keep it.

We Go Again

Janice Okoh

The BBC has commissioned We Go Again (working title) from award-winning writer Janice Okoh (Sanditon, Hetty Feather).

‘We Go Again’ (w/t) is a comedy-drama about three stubbornly optimistic siblings with a dark secret. When their mum disappears, they will do anything to keep it quiet so they can stay together as a family, but – as feistily resilient and fiercely loyal as they are – can they really outwit the authorities and carry on with life under the radar?

The series is an irreverent portrait of black working-class teenage life. A coming-of-age story of sorts. The first times; the f*ck-ups and the excruciating desire to be more grown up than you are or that you might be ready for. It’s a celebration of black joy; of council estates and corner shops. Of working-class living and working-class dreams. It is human and tender, with a thumping great heart.

Blue Lights

The BBC has ordered two more seasons of the critically acclaimed Belfast-based police drama Blue Lights from Two Cities Television for BBC One and iPlayer. The news of seasons three and four comes ahead of the much anticipated second series which is set to air this spring.

Co-created and written by Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson, ‘Blue Lights’ is an authentic, gripping and darkly funny drama about ordinary people doing an extraordinary job. series one which aired in March last year, followed three new PSNI probationary recruits as they navigated their way through their first few months in a uniquely complex place to be a response police officer.

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