Busy times for TV drama production

Bryan Cranston The purple patch for drama production in the UK shows no sign of waning, with several major new series lining up to shoot over the next few months. 

Since the tax credit was expanded in April 2013 to include high-end TV drama, the UK has proved its credentials as a major international production hub.

Figures released by the BFI earlier this year showed an inward investment spend of £487m on high-end TV production, an 11% increase on the previous year. 

With the help of our subscriber database Production Intelligence, we look at some of the TV dramas due to start filming over the next few days and weeks. 

Subscribers can log in for details of shoot dates, locations and key production hires

ITV-based production company Tall Story Pictures is in pre-production on their first commission-to-screen, Bancroft, with filming due to begin at the end of the month in Leeds and Manchester. Kate Brooke has written the four-part drama which centres on two female police officers in a northern city. Brooke exec produces alongside Francis Hopkinson. 

Jack Whitehall
Bounty Hunters

Jack Whitehall and Rosie Perez will star in Bounty Hunters, a new action comedy for Sky 1. Whitehall plays posh Brit Barnaby Walker who ends up on a misadventure with a New York bounty hunter (Perez) on the run. The show comes from Cave Bear Productions and executive producer Ben Cavey. 

Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K Dick

A series of standalone short stories based on the work of renowned sci-fi writer Philip K Dick is coming to the small screen. Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K Dick will be delivered to Channel 4 in ten parts and stars Bryan Cranston (in at least one episode) who is also among the executive producers along with Outlander showrunner Ronald D Moore, Michael Dinner and Isa Dick Hackett.  A raft of writers including Jack Thorne and Tony Grisoni has penned the anthology series for Channel 4. 

Next of Kin
A shiny new drama from prolific producers Mammoth Screen is currently gearing up to shoot in London. The first collaboration between husband-and-wife team Paul Rutman and Natasha Narayan, the 6 x 60 for ITV is one of a tranche of commissions announced last year when Polly Hill moved to the broadcaster as head of drama. 

Benedict Cumberbatch The Child in Time
Benedict Cumberbatch is set to star in and exec produce The Child in Time, Stephen Butchard’s feature-length drama adaptation for BBC One of Ian McEwan’s Whitbread-winning novel about a successful children’s book author whose child goes missing. Cumberbatch’s production company SunnyMarch is producing with Masterpiece Entertainment and Pinewood Television

The City And The City 
China Mieville’s ‘weird fiction’ novel The City And The City is being adapted by Mammoth Screen and Tony Grisoni for the small screen as a 4 x 60 for BBC Two. It follows Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad, who lives in the crumbling city of Beszel. Writer Grisoni exec produces too, along with Damien Timmer and Preethi Mavahalli for Mammoth Screen and Matthew Read for the BBC. 

The Miniaturist
The Forge is making The Miniaturist, a BBC One adaptation of Jessie Burton’s best-selling novel, set in 17th century Amsterdam. John Brownlow has adapted the novel as a three-parter with filming due to take place in the UK and the Netherlands. Executive producer Kate Sinclair of The Forge said of the source material: ““I read and pursued The Miniaturist in manuscript for over a year before publication, so utterly passionate was I about its astounding beauty and rich and diverse characters.”

Doc MartinReturners 
There are also several series of returning shows which are galloping towards filming Call the MidwifeDoc MartinEndeavourMidsomer MurdersPeaky BlindersShetlandSilent WitnessThe A Word and The Frankenstein Chronicles.

PI subscribers can log in and see details on all the projects listed above, including key production personnel, location, studios and shoot dates. Non-subscribers can click here to request a free online demo


Production Intelligence


Bryan Cranston photo via Getty Images/WireImage/Amanda Edwards 

Jack Whitehall photo via Getty Images/WireImage/Mike Marsland

Benedict Cumberbatch photo via Getty Images/WireImage/Matthew Eisman

Also on The Knowledge

VR projects unveiled by BBC

A raft of experimental VR projects from the BBC will premiere today at Sheffield Doc/Fest, including a piece exploring the Easter Rising of 1916 through the eyes of one man.  

Read More »

Being a Media Archivist

Being a media archivist may be considered somewhat archaic in today’s fast-changing digital landscape, but the role remains a vital one as long as moving image material has to be collected and preserved. 

Read More »

BBC confirms Danny Brocklehurst drama

BBC One has confirmed a new drama from prolific writer Danny Brocklehurst to be produced by Red Production Company. Production Intelligence subscribers have been following Come Home on the site since we first listed it in February.

Read More »