BBC1 commissions drama marking 100th anniversary of the First World War

The broadcaster will welcome a five-part drama from the pen of Tony Jordan to mark the beginning of the conflict, as well as a historical series from the makers of award-winning Accused


BBC1 Drama have commissioned a five-part series called The Great War to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.


Told through the eyes of two young men who enlist at the beginning of the conflict, the drama follows the boys as the war and their own stories unfold.

Writer Tony Jordan, who also penned Life On Mars and Hustle, said: “The First World War is undoubtedly one of the most catastrophic events of modern history with a devastating impact on human life across the world.

“The Great War follows two young men as they struggle to adapt to life on the front line and fight to survive the terrifying events of war. The story looks at all aspects of the war – from the families left behind to the strategic decisions by generals that led to unimaginable bloodshed and the men fighting in the trenches.”

The Great War will air next year as part of programming to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Meanwhile, BBC2 are sticking with the trend for period drama and have commissioned a new series set in 1787.

RSJ Films, who created multi-award winning series Accused, will create an eight part drama for BBC2 set in the 1780s when Britian started deporting its unwanted citizen to the furthest corners of the globe. The story will be told through the eyes of three convicts and friends: James Freeman, Tommy Barrett and Elizabeth Quinn.


Of the new drama series, creator Jimmy McGovern said: “In 1787 when Britain banished its petty thieves, whores, orphans and highwaymen – to Sydney Cove, a place so hot and barren and hostile that very few people had ever set foot there. It was an audacious social experiment, unparalled before or since. Yet these rejects from Britain, accompanied by soldiers, officers, a vicar and a doctor, survived against all the odds, in spite of famine, drought, escapes, hangings and floggings, the colony thrived. This is their story.”