The Radio Times logo

New Jack Thorne drama to tackle justice in the aftermath of a community tragedy

The National Treasure and Kiri writer previously suggested his next drama would be based on the Grenfell Tower fire

Published: Monday, 20th August 2018 at 2:23 pm

Channel 4 has just revealed some intriguing details about the new drama series from National Treasure writer Jack Thorne.


Currently with a working title of The Light, the new series promises to “look at disability” and will explore how a small Welsh town deals with a catastrophic disaster.

The exact nature of the tragedy? That’s currently unknown, but it will claim the lives of “many”, including children, say Channel 4.

Whatever the event, it’s set to split apart the community as “communal grief gives way to a torrent of anger and blame”. And the town also has to wrestle with “inexorable political and business forces” and the question of how implicit they are to the disaster.

The story of a community dealing with a disaster could mirror events of the Grenfell Tower fire, with Thorne saying earlier this year he wished to create a drama based on the tragedy.

“Grenfell is certainly something we should be working out how to dramatise,” said Thorne, speaking at a Q&A for his previous Channel 4 drama Kiri.

“It’s really complicated and the longer you spend on it the more complicated you realise it is,” he added. “It overwhelms me that it’s not being talked about it as much as it should be and I still can’t believe this happened in our country.

“In a country which is supposed to have money, I can’t believe we inflicted that on people. And I can’t believe that they were screaming out for help and no one listened. I think we’re all responsible for it and we need to work out a way to come to terms with it.”

Thorne – who also wrote the stage play for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – also suggested his next drama would explore the role of the British media in society. It’s a theme woven into his previous two shows – Kiri and National Treasure –, in his trilogy of dramas for Channel 4.


“At the beginning of National Treasure we started talking about the possibilities of a trilogy which peeked behind the curtains of this country and tried to ask difficult questions about who we are and how the media paints us,” Thorne said about The Light. “I am so delighted we are going to get to finish that trilogy off."

Sign up for the free newsletter


Sponsored content