Stephen Poliakoff is back on BBC2 with Summer of Rockets

The writer’s new six-part series is set in the UK in 1957


Stephen Poliakoff is writing a new semi-autobiographical drama set during the tumultuous year of 1957.


Summer of Rockets is a six-part series for BBC2 about a Russian Jewish family living in Britain amid the fear and excitement of the nation’s first Hydrogen Bomb test. It is expected to air in 2018 with casting due to be announced later this year.

The story focuses on Samuel, a Russian born Jewish inventor and designer of bespoke hearing aids, and his small family.

Samuel is approached by MI5 to demonstrate his work before also being tasked with obtaining information about his new friends, an MP called Richard Shaw and his wife Kathleen.

The commission follows the broadcast of Poliakoff’s last series, Close to the Enemy, which starred Jim Sturgess as British intelligence operative Callum Ferguson and received largely negative reviews.

Other drama from Poliakoff (pictured) have included Dancing on the Edge, his 2013 series which followed the fortunes of a black jazz band in 1930s London, Shooting the Past (1999), Perfect Strangers (2001) and The Lost Prince (2003), his telling of the true story about the abandoned Edwardian Prince John.

News of his latest commission was announced by the BBC at a drama reception on Thursday night.


Other dramas unveiled include a three-parter about Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe written by Russell T Davies and a new adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved 1868 novel Little Women by Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas.