Sky axes planned ten-part thriller Patient Zero

The potentially lavish drama about the survivors of a global virus will not be going ahead

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There is a room in heaven filled with great TV ideas that never quite made it. And passing through the pearly gates next is the proposed Sky ten-parter Patient Zero.

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The broadcaster had been developing the lavish thriller about a deadly global virus that turns those infected into predators, addicted to violence.

Graham Moore, the scribe who won an Oscar with his first feature film The Imitation Game, was slated to write, and excitement was high.

But it is not to be. Sky has dropped the project, which was due to air on Sky Atlantic, and is looking at commissioning something else – a terrorism related thriller, but this time set in London, RadioTimes.com understands.

When the TV series Patient Zero was being announced last year, the broadcaster spoke in excited terms about the drama, which was to be made by the production wing of NBC Universal and Fortitude producer Fifty Fathoms.

It was to follow the outbreak of a mystery disease after a woman exhibits strange symptoms and her family find themselves at the centre of an epidemic with global consequences.

Anne Mensah, Sky’s head of drama, said last year: “As we continue to bring our customers more and more original drama I am delighted to be partnering with two creatives at the top of their game – writer Graham Moore and director Marc Forster in a thriller that will grip from the outset.

“We’re excited to be expanding our working relationship with NBC and NBC Universal and of course it’s great to be working with Fifty Fathoms after the huge success we’ve had with Fortitude.”

The canned Sky TV series is not to be confused with a Sony Pictures movie of the same name, and with a very similar theme, which has already been shot and stars Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer and Stanley Tucci. By bizarre coincidence Tucci had also been linked with a starring role in the Sky series.

The horror film is about the search for patient zero in a global pandemic that has led to very few healthy humans left on Earth. It was due to be released in 2016 but has been pushed back to 2017.

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Smith plays a survivor, Morgan, who is able to speak to the “infected”.