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Jenna Coleman to lead new WWII drama The War Rooms

The Doctor Who star will play Joan Bright – who ran Winston Churchill's Whitehall bunker during WWII – in this upcoming drama.

Jenna Coleman
Published: Tuesday, 27th April 2021 at 12:20 pm

The Serpent's Jenna Coleman is set to star in upcoming period drama The War Rooms from Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt.


The Doctor Who star will play series lead Joan Bright, the woman who organised Winston Churchill's Special Information Centre and ran his secret Whitehall bunker.

Based on Bright's memoir The Inner Circle: A View of War at the Top, the drama will follow Bright as she works underground during World War II, tackling each challenge as they come alongside her colleagues, with each season covering 12-18 months of the war, according to Deadline.

"Joan Bright was never going to live a conventional life – a young woman who lived her war days under the official secrets act, undercover and underground in the war rooms," Coleman told the publication.

"This story is so compelling not only because of her unique and liberal mind, wryness of spirit and curiosity to live, but because of the opportunity to examine this endlessly fascinating period of time through an intimate and human lens.

"The closeness and proximity of days and nights lived within this small space, the carriers of the truth amidst the oblivion of propaganda above. The beauty and fragility of human connection when living through a time when no one knows what tomorrow will bring. I’m so excited to unearth these hidden lives and at a time where it feels so shockingly relevant right now."

The War Rooms will be penned by Moving On's David Chidlow and produced by Parfitt, who just won two Oscars for The Father.

Bright, who was the former girlfriend of James Bond author Ian Fleming and considered the inspiration behind Miss Moneypenny, was awarded an OBE in 1946 for her work during the war and died in 2008.

Best known for portraying Doctor Who's Clara Oswald, the Doctor's companion from 2013 until 2015, Coleman recently starred as Marie-Andrée Leclerc in crime miniseries The Serpent and Queen Victoria in Victoria.


You can buy Joan Bright's The Inner Circle: A View of War at the Top on Amazon. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide or our dedicated Drama hub.


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