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Danny Boy release date: Cast, plot and latest news about the BBC drama

Everything you need to know about BBC's Two's new factual drama Danny Boy, starring Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones.

Danny Boy cast
Published: Thursday, 22nd April 2021 at 12:01 pm

The BBC has released the first trailer for its upcoming real-life drama, Danny Boy.


Olivier winner Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones both star in the dark one-off drama, which explores the line between war and unlawful killing.

The 90-minute drama centres on the events following the Battle of Danny Boy in Southern Iraq in 2004 and questions the clash between duty and morals.

Written by Robert Jones and directed by Sam Miller, its debut is already highly anticipated.

Here's all we know about Danny Boy so far.

When does Danny Boy air on BBC Two?

CONFIRMED: Danny Boy, which is a 90-minute one-off drama, will air on Wednesday 12th May at 9pm on BBC Two.

Anthony Boyle in Danny Boy

Anthony Boyle in Danny Boy (BBC)

Danny Boy plot

Based on a true story, this single-part programme depicts the events surrounding the Al-Sweady inquiry that took place from 2009 to 2014 and investigated accusations of prisoner mistreatment by the British Army in Iraq.

Accused is soldier Brian Wood, whose actions are questioned by human rights lawyer Phil Shiner.

The two men go head to head in a legal and moral conflict that takes viewers from the battlefield - at so-called Checkpoint Danny Boy - to the courtroom.

After his service in Iraq and years of legal investigation, will Brian ever be able to look his family in the eye again and be the husband, father, and son, they need him to be?

Danny Boy cast: Who's in it?

Heading up the Danny Boy cast are Anthony Boyle (who plays Brian Wood) and Toby Jones (who plays Phil Shiner).

Boyle, who won an Olivier for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has said of his involvement: "I’m thrilled to be working with Sam Miller on Robert Jones’ phenomenal script, and telling Brian’s extraordinary story. We get to explore not just the realities of war, but how they can come back to haunt you."

Toby Jones, a renowned stage and screen actor who has starred in such films as Finding Neverland, Infamous and Frost/Nixon, praised the script as "extraordinarily compelling, intelligent and nuanced", adding, "it’s a real honour to be working with Danny Boy’s exceptional cast and creative team to bring it to the screen."

Leah McNamara (Normal People, Vikings) plays Brian's wife, while Alex Ferns (Chernobyl, The Batman) and Pauline Turner (Martin Chuzzlewit, Peaky Blinders) play Brian's father and mother.

Who else is involved?

Bafta winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals) has written the script. Commenting on translating the factual story to the screen, he said: "Here’s a man who won a medal for valour, but whose toughest test was the scrutiny that followed. External scrutiny, and soul searching too - Brian Wood’s story is a fascinating one for a writer to explore."

Sam Miller, whose previous work includes I May Destroy You and Luther, directs. He said of the show: "I’m very excited to be telling this story featuring the Battle of Danny Boy and the subsequent fallout, both personally and politically, for Brian and others."

Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones star in Danny Boy
Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones star in Danny Boy (BBC)

Is there a trailer?

Yes, you can watch it below. The trailer stars Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones, featuring flashbacks to the Battle of Danny Boy.


Danny Boy will air on 12th May on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. While you're waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV guide.


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