New World War II series A Small Light tells the story of Miep Gies, one of the brave, heroic people who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis.


Not only does the drama tell the real-life story from a different perspective than we have seen before, but it also has a contemporary feel, something which co-creators and married couple Joan Rater and Tony Phelan were clear was very much their intention for the series's conception.

Speaking exclusively with ahead of the show's release, Rater said that the idea for the drama came to them when they visited the Anne Frank museum with their children in Amsterdam.

Liev Schreiber as Otto Frank with Bel Powley as Miep Gies in A Small Light
Liev Schreiber as Otto Frank with Bel Powley as Miep Gies in A Small Light. National Geographic for Disney/Dusan Martincek

She said: "I was reading about Miep, and she was a young woman, newly married, blue collar, sort of a party girl, and her boss Otto Frank asks her to help hide his family. And she said, yes, immediately, 'Of course, anyone would do it.'

"And I turned to my son who was around the same age and I suddenly was struck that she wasn't this person who knew how to hide people, or was exceptionally courageous, she was just an ordinary person."

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Rater continued: "I thought, 'She's him, she's this guy,' my son. Who's amazing and passionate and smart and empathetic, but he's also sometimes messy, forgetful, insecure, the whole range of the human experience.

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"And suddenly we had this thought of wanting to clear the cobwebs off the history and see the humanity and see what it would be like to be an ordinary person in this extraordinary time. And sort of show the ordinary moments of doubt and anger, show sex and laughter and joy, that was existing at this time."

Meanwhile, Bel Powley, who plays Miep in the series, told that she tends to "shy away from period stuff" because she finds herself "feeling very distanced from it when I'm dressed in olden day clothes and speaking in olden day language and feel like it's difficult to connect to it".

However, she added that she was "so blown away by how contemporary this story felt". She said: "I think it's such a new and modern take on a story that we all know too well, and also, just after reading the pilot I immediately was like, 'What would I do in that situation?'"

A Small Light releases on Disney Plus on Thursday 2nd May 2023. Sign up to Disney Plus now for £7.99 per month or £79.90 for a full year.

For more, check out our dedicated Drama page or our full TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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