The always busy Daniel Mays (Line Of Duty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Public Enemies) will take the lead role in period true story Against The Law as Peter Wildeblood, a thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover Eddie McNally (played by newcomer to television, Richard Gadd), under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu Trial.
More than ten years before the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in 1967, Peter Wildeblood, and his friends Lord Montagu (Mark Edel-Hunt) and Michael Pitt-Rivers, were found guilty of homosexual offences and jailed.
With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the way these draconian laws against homosexuality impacted on the lives of men like him.
Daniel says: “I’m incredibly proud to be part of a drama that tells such an important real-life story. Peter Wildeblood is a fascinating, complex, yet flawed character from a time when being a gay man in Britain was incredibly difficult – I can’t wait to bring his tale to life for the BBC Two audience.”
Patrick Holland, Channel Editor, BBC Two, said: “50 years ago, it was a crime to be a gay man in the UK. Against The Law is a stunning piece that melds drama and documentary testimony to tell the story of one man, and his wider generation, as they struggled to make society accept their sexuality as non-criminal. It is brilliant to have a film that brings the authorship of Brian Fillis, the vision of director Fergus O’Brien, and the outstanding talent of Daniel Mays and cast to this important subject”
The drama also features Mark Gatiss (Taboo, Sherlock) as Wildeblood’s prison psychiatrist, Doctor Landers and Charlie Creed-Miles (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) as Superintendent Jones.
Woven through this powerful drama is real-life testimony from a chorus of men who lived through those dark days, when homosexuals were routinely imprisoned or forced to undergo chemical aversion therapy in an attempt to cure them of their “condition”. There is also testimony from a retired police officer whose job it was to enforce these laws, and a former psychiatric nurse who administered the so-called cures. All of these accounts serve to amplify the themes of the drama and help to immerse us in the reality of a dark chapter in our recent past, a past still within the reach of living memory.
Written by Brian Fillis, Against the Law is directed by Fergus O’Brien, produced by Scott James Bassett and executive produced by Aysha Rafaele, Creative Director of The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios.
Made by BBC Studios, Against the Law will broadcast on BBC Two later in the year.
BBC-2, Feud: Bette and Joan to air this Christmas
The fabulous 8 part series Feud: Bette and Joan will get an airing on BBC Two this Christmas. Created by Ryan Murphy and starring Susan Sarandan as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, the series is a gorgeously realised glimpse into the golden age of Hollywood and the long running rivalry that developed between the two stars. The stellar cast also features Alfred Molina as film director Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as mogul Jack L. Warner, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland, Judy Davis as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell.
They are joined by Jackie Hoffman as Mamacita, Crawford’s housekeeper, and Alison Wright as Pauline, Aldrich’s assistant. The series also stars Dominic Burgess as Crawford and Davis’ co-star Victor Buono, Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page, and Kiernan Shipka as Bette Davis’ daughter, B.D.
Beginning with Davis and Crawford’s collaboration on What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? and continuing long after the cameras stopped rolling, Feud: Bette and Joan explores with great style and wit how the two stars endured ageism, sexism and misogyny while struggling to hang on to success and fame in the twilight of their careers.
Speaking of playing such an icon as Bette Davis, Susan Sarandon said ” it was intimidating because Bette was so eccentric in terms of the way she talks, idiosyncratic in the way she does and says everything. It wasn’t just about getting the accent – she stressed very odd words all the time and she also had a very odd walk. I had to think, how do you take that character that everybody is acquainted with the most extreme version of, and how do you ground her and make her a real person? That’s what was scary. You can learn an accent but when you’re paying attention to that – and Jessica felt the same way – you know, how do we make these real women, who were so over the top, seem like real people and not just a caricature? And that’s what terrified me. But then, I’m always drawn to things that terrify me.”
And on wanting to play Joan Crawford, Jessica Lange said “I knew that it would provide a lot of opportunity and Ryan Murphy knows me well enough at this point to know what I like to do and what my strong points are as an actor and the kind of part that I gravitate toward. I trust him. I wouldn’t have been involved in television the way I am, I only did that because of him.”
Episode one starts in 1962, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) realises that good roles are not being written for women of her age, so she decides to find one for herself. Coming across the novel What Ever Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell, she knows that she has found the perfect part. She convinces director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to champion the movie, but now she needs to bring her bitter Hollywood rival and star of equal magnitude Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) on board the project.
Sparks are about to fly.
The full series of Feud: Bette and Joan will be available to watch as a full series on BBC iPlayer from Saturday 16 December at 10pm, after episode one premieres on BBC Two at 9pm.
Ryan Murphy serves as Executive Producer along with Executive Producers Tim Minear, Alexis Martin Woodall and Dede Gardner of Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.
HBO, Big Little Lies to get Season Two
No surprises here as it was one of the best dramas of the year but HBO will be giving the Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon starring, Big Little Lies a second run of episodes.
It will again be a limited series of just 7 episodes with Kidman and Witherspoon both starring and exec producing. David E. Kelley will be writing scripts. The first season was based on the novel by Liane Moriarty and season two will again be based on a concept by Moriarty. Andrea Arnold will direct.
Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming said: “I’m excited to announce the return of Big Little Lies, David Kelley wrote beautiful scripts and Reese and Nicole were, once again, a force to be reckoned with, reuniting the cast and recruiting the talented Andrea Arnold to direct. We look forward to working with this amazing group of artists.”
Reese Witherspoon said “I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists. It gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them. I’m beyond excited to be working with talented and acclaimed director Andrea Arnold, who will be at the helm. Andrea’s unique storytelling style will be a welcome addition to the filmmaking team.”
Nicole Kidman also added: “This is inspired by the overwhelming response by audiences around the world, conceived once again by Liane Moriarty, realized by David Kelley and now in the hands of visionary filmmaker Andrea Arnold. What a journey this has been.”
Netflix, The Crown Season 2 Premieres Fri 8 Dec
Season 2 of acclaimed Netflix drama The Crown premieres on Friday 8 December. Beginning with soldiers in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces fighting an illegal war in Egypt, and ending with the downfall of her third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan after a devastating scandal, the second season bears witness to the end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s.
The Crown continues to chronicle the major political and global events that have defined and shaped the second half of the twentieth century – a series that is unprecedented in its scale, ambition and creative vision.
The series, created by Peter Morgan, tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, as the fragile social order established after the Second World War breaks apart. The series reunites creator/writer Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) with director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and producer Andy Harries (The Queen). Claire Foy and Matt Smith star.
The Crown is a Left Bank Pictures/Sony Pictures Television production for Netflix.
THIS JUST IN
Within These Walls: Prison Cat (ITV 13 Sep 1975, with Sally Sanders)
In Prison Cat, pregnant Poppy Hall is distraught when her boyfriend breaks it off. Prison officer Worth decides to try...
Scorpion: Who Let the Dog Out (‘Cause Now It’s Stuck in a Cistern) (CBS Dec 11 2017 with Max Phyo)
Who Let the Dog Out (‘Cause Now It’s Stuck in a Cistern): As Team Scorpion anxiously awaits the verdict of...
The Bachelor: Countdown to Arie Special (ABC Dec 11, 2017 with Arie Luyendyk Jr)
Get the Lowdown on New Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr., and the women who will pursue him. Join Chris Harrison for...
Look Back in Anger (Woodfall 1959, Richard Burton, Claire Bloom)
Influential British kitchen-sink” drama Look Back in Anger, directed in gritty black and white by Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) and...
Three Coins in the Fountain (TCF 1954, Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire)
In handsomely photographed romance Three Coins in the Fountain, three American women (Jean Peters, Dorothy McGuire, Maggie McNamara) pin their...
9JKL: Set Visit (CBS Dec 11, 2017 with Michael Showalter)
Set Visit: After Harry and Judy visit Josh on the set of his new movie, he is horrified when the...
Valor: Stay Frosty (The CW Dec 11, 2017 with Nigel Thatch)
Stay Frosty: The Shadow Raiders are sent out on a mission which, if successful, could mean a dire outcome for...
More to View
TV1 week ago
My Christmas Prince (Lifetime 2017, Alexis Knapp, Callum Alexander)
Previews7 days ago
How To Spend It Well At Christmas With Phillip Schofield Episode 2 (ITV 5 Dec 2017)
Previews2 weeks ago
Great Canal Journeys: Portugal Premieres Thurs 30 Nov on Channel 4
Previews3 weeks ago
Ugly House To Lovely House With George Clarke: Heathfield, East Sussex (Channel 4 23 Nov 2017)
TV2 days ago
Runaway Christmas Bride (ION 2017, Cindy Busny, Travis Milne)
Episodes2 weeks ago
American Housewife: Gala Auction (ABC 29 Nov 2017, with Julia Butters)
Previews2 weeks ago
Jamie And Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast: Joanna Lumley (Channel 4 1 Dec 2017)
Previews2 weeks ago
How To Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield Premieres Tues 28 Nov on ITV