BBC2 has announced that Keeley Hawes, Toby Stephens and Timothy Spall will lead the cast of Summer of Rockets, the new six-part period drama from Dancing on the Edge creator Stephen Poliakoff.
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The semi-autobiographical series, which is set in the UK during the Cold War (1958, to be precise), and it centres around Samuel (Stephens), a Russian-born Jewish inventor of bespoke hearing aids, who is approached by MI5 to provide information on his friends Kathleen (Hawes), her husband Richard Shaw (Linus Roache) and Lord Arthur Wallington (Spall).
It is set against the backdrop of Britain testing its first hydrogen bomb and the Russians beating the Americans in the first phase of the space race, by becoming the first nation to successfully send a satellite into space. Poliakoff will write and direct every episode.
“I have wanted to work with Stephen for years, so I’m delighted to be part of such a wonderful cast, and can’t wait to spend the summer with them all,” Keeley Hawes said.
Lily Sacofsky (Bancroft), Lucy Cohu (Ripper Street), Gary Beadle (Grantchester), Mark Bonnar (Line Of Duty), Ronald Pickup (The Crown), and Rose Ayling-Ellis (Reverberations) also star.