New Sky drama This England will dramatise the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with a particular focus on the role of the Government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, played by Kenneth Branagh.


Ever since it was announced some on social media have argued that it is "too soon" after the event for the five-part series to have been made and now Gabriel Silver, the director for drama commissioning at Sky Studios, has admitted that when the idea was first "floated" to him "about a year and a half ago", he "probably had similar thoughts".

Silver was speaking at this year's Edinburgh TV Festival, where he then said that he doesn't "feel that way anymore", adding that the drama is "organically quite a holistic piece about a very specific piece of time which is the first six months of 2020."

He said that it is probably "quite important we do reflect on that period now, whilst we're all still feeling the effects of the pandemic".

Ophelia Lovibond and Kenneth Branagh in This England
Ophelia Lovibond and Kenneth Branagh in This England SEAC

Silver also added that while "obviously there can be drama about COVID in 20 years' time" which can give an "impression of the entire period", in this particular series the team were "very interested in the very human, instant, urgent response to it in that period, particularly by Government, but also everyone".

He said that he think's the series is "very forensic" in examining that response, and assured viewers that it is "very responsibly told".

Alongside Branagh in the central role, the upcoming series also stars Ophelia Lovibond as Carrie Symonds (later Johnson), Tom Buchan as Matt Hancock and Tim Goodman as Stanley Johnson.

Read more coverage from the Edinburgh International TV Festival 2022:

This England is coming to Sky Atlantic and NOW on 21st September 2022. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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