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Timothy Spall and Anne Reid lead crime drama The Sixth Commandment

The true-crime drama will explore the deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin

Timothy Spall and Anne Reid
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images, David M. Benett/Getty Images
Published: Thursday, 9th June 2022 at 12:17 pm
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The BBC has announced that production has begun on a brand-new true crime drama, which will explore the deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin and the events that unfolded over the following years.


The four-part series, called The Sixth Commandment, has been written by Sarah Phelps (A Very British Scandal), and will star Timothy Spall (Mr Turner) as Farquhar, an inspirational teacher who met charismatic student Ben Field, played by Éanna Hardwicke (Normal People).

This set the stage for a complex criminal case, with the series also focusing on how suspicions around Field’s relationship with Ann Moore-Martin, Farquhar's deeply religious neighbour played by Anne Reid, unlocked a series of chilling revelations.

Spall said: “When I received Sarah Phelps’ brilliant scripts I knew this was an essential story to tell. I am honoured to be playing the remarkable Peter Farquhar and hope I do him justice, which is the very least he deserves.”

Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Reid said: “I found the story of The Sixth Commandment extremely disturbing and I feel a great sense of responsibility in portraying this good, kind, trusting woman, Ann, who was so cruelly deceived.”

The is directed by Saul Dibb (The Salisbury Poisonings) and is being made in full cooperation with Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin’s families. Filming is taking place in and around Bristol and Bath.

Phelps added: “I wouldn’t have been able to write this without the help, support and insights of Peter and Ann’s families. I’m so appreciative of the trust they placed in me to tell the stories of their loved ones. I’m thrilled that we have such an astonishing cast and phenomenal team of creatives, led by our director Saul Dibb, to bring my scripts to life.”

Alongside Spall, Reid and Hardwicke, the series also stars Annabel Scholey (The Split), Sheila Hancock (Unforgotten), Ben Bailey Smith (Andor), Conor MacNeill (Industry), Adrian Rawlins (Baptiste) and Amanda Root (Summerland).

The show will explore the way both Peter and Ann were manipulated by Field, while also showing the gripping police investigation and the high-profile trial. It will highlight the devastating effect of isolation and loneliness, while also celebrating Peter and Ann’s lives as mentors, relatives and friends.

The Sixth Commandment will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Drama hub for the latest news.


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