TV - The Knowledge favourites of 2017
We recently brought you news of the top UK films of 2017, as voted by our team here at The Knowledge.
Now it’s time for television, so we bring you a round-up of our picks of scripted content produced by UK crew that aired over the last 12 months.
For sales manager Matthew Wright, Line of Duty took top TV plaudits.
he gripping police procedural drama was back for its fourth run in 2017 and for Matt the reasons were clear: “Gripping, edge-of-your-seat drama with twists and turns aplenty. The lengthy police interview scenes were absolute TV gold.”
At a masterclass held at the Edinburgh TV Festival, the drama’s showrunner Jed Mercurio explained how writing a successful drama over several series with a core of returning characters can present a challenge for the writer. “Each new season has to be completely fresh, so for me it starts with the new character.
"It probably does get a bit harder each time because we’ve done quite a lot of things already.
“I’ve made it clear that if I don’t get permission for two series ahead, we have to view the next series as the last because we have so many twists and turns.”
Mercurio will start work on Series Five and Six once production is underway on his new project, Bodyguard, also from World Productions.
For journalist Nick Goundry, the winner of the TV show of 2017 was Blue Planet II. He described it as “a stunning amalgamation of terrific underwater photography, epic technical experimentation and stirring narratives of the natural world, all unified by David Attenborough’s authoritative narration.
“A fantastic achievement from the BBC.”
It is pretty clear Nick is not alone in his critique. The first episode of the show was the most watched
programme of 2017 so far, seen by 14.1 million people in the week since it was first broadcast in late October.
For senior sales manager Sarah Keegan, period drama The Last Post was her TV highlight of the year. She described the reasons for her choice: “Jessica Raine was brilliant and Amanda Drew was excellent.
“Set in the 1960s, army personnel were stationed in Aden with their families living with them too.
"It is incredible to believe that whilst fighting in such a dangerous area, the wives and children had a very privileged lifestyle there, but not without considerable danger to themselves too.
“An extremely good series and well worth watching.”
The Last Post was from UK production companies The Forge and Bonafide Films and was filmed entirely on location in South Africa, doubling the country for Aden. Many UK HoDs went out for the lengthy shoot which ran for four months from late October 2016.
Marketing manager Nina Bhalla plumped for Kudos' BBC One adaptation of Louise Doughty’s psychological thriller Apple Tree Yard.
She extrapolated: “I thought both Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin’s performances were excellent. And as writer Amanda Coe has said, it wasn’t about making women more likeable – they just have to be interesting and this did just that.
"Highlighting that female sexuality can be powerful and dangerous!”
The third series of wry comedy Detectorists starring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones took drama editor Nia Daniels’ vote for top TV scripted production of 2017. “It’s a lovely, gentle, witty reflection on male friendship - the antithesis of laddishness.
"The main characters are well rounded and likeable, and we find ourselves rooting for good fortune to befall them. It is brilliantly acted with restraint and seemingly genuine affection.”
Written and directed by Crook, the show films on location in Suffolk around Orford, Ipswich and Framlingham.
UK crews, production services and location companies - we salute you.
Also on The Knowledge
Filming begins in Suffolk and the home counties next week on The Dig, starring Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes.
David Smith, managing director of Glasgow-based TV production company Matchlight, has been appointed as director of screen at Screen Scotland.
Sophie Rundle and Martin Compston are set to star in The Nest, a new drama that begins a four-month shoot in Glasgow next week.
A new drama created by, written by and starring Michaela Coel begins filming in London this week.
BBC One has commissioned Best Interests, a new drama from prolific writer Jack Thorne.
Filming starts in Scotland this week on Elizabeth is Missing starring Glenda Jackson.