The creator and writer of SAS Rogue Heroes, a new BBC drama which charts the formation of the Special Air Service during World War II, has drawn a comparison with another of his works.


When Steven Knight was asked about parallels between the characters in his upcoming series and those in Peaky Blinders at a recent Q&A, he said the two programmes seem to have similar 'themes'.

"It does seem that there is a sort of a theme with Peaky and this, where it is a group of men who are probably not the easiest people to fit into conventional society," he explained. "I think that all of the people who are the heroes in this, if there had not been a war, they would have ended up in jail and ended up in trouble because they weren't equipped for normal society.

"There's a great quote from Rudyard Kipling. He says, 'For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an chuck him out, the brute! But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot.'

"In other words, the people who are getting thrown out of clubs and restaurants and getting into terrible trouble in peace, when war comes along, they're needed. I think that's really interesting. Maybe people who watch this who feel themselves to be excluded and not right for society and not fitting in might think, 'Well, I could be a hero.'"

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SAS Rogue Heroes
The cast of SAS Rogue Heroes.

Sex Education's Connor Swindells, who stars in the show alongside Jack O'Connell (Skins, '71, The North Water) and Alfie Allen (Game of Thones, Whitehouse Farm, Jojo Rabbit) also spoke about the brutal filming conditions.

"We did a lot of day for night stuff as well, which was the hardest because night-time in the [Sahara] desert is normally extremely cold, so we'd be wearing tonnes and tonnes of layers but we were shooting at midday in the heat," Swindells explained. "And those were unbearably hot and your rifle's getting heavier and heavier and heavier, take after take after take. That was a struggle."

But he also said that there was plenty to enjoy during their time in Morocco: "I have great memories of us bombing it through the Sahara desert in the Jeeps. You couldn't see the camera. There was no supporting artists anywhere. It was just us in the cars bombing it, living like the characters. Those are my fondest memories of the whole thing."

SAS Rogue Heroes arrives on BBC One on Sunday 30th October at 9pm. Visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out the rest of our Drama coverage.


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