BBC1 to make an epic drama about the fall of Troy

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore unveils a raft of new shows including Fall of a City, a new series from Silk writer Peter Moffat and a Hanif Kureishi drama about a black Second World War veteran

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BBC1 is to tell the story of the siege of Troy in a new drama called Fall of a City to air later this winter.

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The multi-part series has been written by theatre director David Farr and will tell the story from the perspective of a Trojan family at the heart of the Greeks’ siege of the ancient city, as told in Homer’s epic The Iliad.

“Thrilling and heartbreakingly intimate, Fall of a City is set to convey the big themes of human existence, horror and heroism, of people battling to retain their humanity and compassion amidst the chaos, devastation and destruction of war,” BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said of the as-yet-uncast series.

“David Farr’s bold and visceral rendition of the 3000-year-old classic, told across multiple parts, will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen on BBC1 before. Intimate and epic, gripping and exhilarating, rich with psychological intrigue and human drama, we will feel the characters’ passions, pain and loss.”

Farr added: “The story of Ilium, the ancient city of Troy, has always gripped me. Fall of a City aims to convey in all its emotional richness, the effects of war, and the toll taken on city and family by the horrors of siege. Though one of Europe’s oldest stories, it could not be more sadly pertinent today.”

The new drama, which is expected to air next year, is part of a raft of new programmes for autumn and winter announced last night by Moore.

Other dramas include a 90-minute film To Sir with Love adapted by Hanif Kureishi, from the autobiographical novel by ER Braithwaite.

Set in the bomb-damaged East End of London in the aftermath of the Second World War, Guyanese engineer Ricky Braithwaite is de-mobbed from the RAF to find a cold welcome in a Britain which has turned its back on the black men and women who had fought alongside them in the war. 

The channel has also commissioned Silk and Kavanagh QC writer Peter Moffat to script The Last Post, an eight-part series based on his childhood memories of the Middle Eastern port of Aden in 1965.

Dwelling on his father’s life as an officer in the Royal Military Police, it tells the story of a British army unit fighting a terrorist insurgency in the Middle East and the women and children who were there with them.

According to the BBC, “the series is an up close look at soldiering and police work but it’s as much about the pressures and excitements of being married to the British army in a dangerous place at a moment in history when sex and feminism arrive in the twentieth century, the sun is going down on the empire and the established order of the 1950’s is disappearing. 

“Danger, heat, glamour – grenade attacks, roadside mines, sniper actions, gin and tonic, polka dot bikini’s and fish and chips at the BP beach club, Strangers in the Night, death in the desert, drinking and smoking like there’s no tomorrow, frying eggs on the bonnets of Land Rovers, the politics of occupier and occupied, love and war a long way from home.”

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