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Rock stars, Time Lords & vampires – BBC Drama reveals its Winter/Spring highlights


The BBC today unveiled highlights of its Winter/Spring drama offering for 2010. The line-up will provide a huge range of styles and themes with something for all audiences to enjoy.

On BBC One, Billie Piper stars in A Passionate Woman and Idris Elba stars as Luther in the eponymous new take on police drama.

There will also be the much anticipated new series of Doctor Who featuring Matt Smith.

On BBC Two, as part of the channel’s Eighties Season, there will be an exciting adaptation of the Martin Amis novel Money and Abi Morgan’s new drama Royal Wedding about life in a Welsh village set against the backdrop of the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.

There will also be Dominic Savage’s first fully-scripted drama, Dive, co-written with playwright Simon Stephens.

BBC Three sees the return of the award-winning Being Human alongside new lesbian drama Lip Service.

And, on BBC Four, Christopher Eccleston stars as John Lennon in Lennon Naked, the channel’s latest biopic.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said: "I believe that the Winter/Spring line-up underlines our reputation as the home of Britain’s most creative and exciting drama. It is the place where new and established writers can realise their most imaginative work.

“Across our four channels, there are bold, modern new series and serials alongside unique and challenging single pieces. Where else will you find a Time Lord, a rock star and a vampire all in one season?”

The dramas that feature are:

A new kind of crime thriller for British TV starring Idris Elba (The Wire). In each exciting and fast-moving story, the murderer’s identity is known from the start, focussing the drama on the psychic duel between hunter and quarry, who sometimes have more in common than either would like to think.
Five Days

In the second series of this award-winning drama, a tiny newborn baby is abandoned in the toilets of a Yorkshire hospital. At the same time, the Trans-Pennine commuter train is halted by a suicidal jumper. Are they connected? From this moment on, the lives of those onboard the train and in the hospital will be changed irrevocably, not least for DC Laurie Franklin (Suranne Jones), off-duty that day but travelling on the train with her mum (Anne Reid), who is recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Five Daughters

A three-part drama serial by acclaimed writer Stephen Butchard (House Of Saddam), Five Daughters (working title) is a sensitive portrait of events surrounding the discovery of five young women tragically murdered in Ipswich in 2006.

Made with the co-operation of Suffolk Police, and other agencies involved in the case, this factually-based drama will tell the story of three of the women’s lives through the eyes of family members and friends, as well as following the inside story of the police investigation.
Doctor Who

A new series, a new Doctor and more intergalactic adventures for the nation’s favourite sci-fi hero.
Ashes To Ashes

Gene Hunt is back in all his Eighties splendour for the final series of this hugely-popular series which promises more twists and turns than ever before.
The Silence

A deaf girl witnesses a murder in this new four-part drama. Eighteen-year-old Amelia Edwards (Genevieve Barr) has recently been fitted with a cochlear implant, enabling her to hear, but she struggles to accept that she has a place in the hearing world.

Breaking free from her over-protective parents (Gina McKee – In The Loop, Fiona’s Story; and Hugh Bonneville – Lost In Austen), she goes to stay with her party-loving cousins, homicide detective uncle Jim (Douglas Henshall – Collision, Primeval) and warm-hearted aunt Maggie (Dervla Kirwan – Ondine, Moving On).

Amelia witnesses the audacious murder of a policewoman, and is reluctantly propelled further into a loud and frightening world. Jim is assigned the case and, when she identifies a police officer on the drugs squad as one of the killers, he urgently needs to protect his niece. If his colleagues find out what she has witnessed, she will be in extreme danger from the very people he works with. But, by keeping her a secret, he will jeopardise his own position in the force and put his whole family at risk.
A Passionate Woman

Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, The Shadow In The North) and Sue Johnston (The Royle Family, The Turn Of The Screw) return to BBC One to play two stages in the life of Betty, a wife and mother who falls deeply in love with a Polish neighbour with disastrous consequences. Written by Kay Mellor.
The Deep

James Nesbitt, Minnie Driver and Goran Visnjic star in a five-part thriller set thousands of feet below the Arctic ice. Simon Donald’s story follows the crew of an oceanographic submarine as they search the final frontiers of Earth for unknown and remarkable life forms before inexplicable circumstances then cause catastrophe to strike.

Series two follows the adventures of a small group of people thrown together in the aftermath of a devastating virus that has wiped out most of the world’s population.
Royal Wedding (part of the Eighties season)

Set in a small Welsh village in the Eighties, the locals are beginning to feel the negative effects of the tough economic climate. The Royal Wedding gives the community and the Caddock family a chance to forget their problems and unite. But, during the course of their celebrations, events unfold which will change their lives forever.
Money (part of the Eighties Season)

Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men, Angel), Emma Pierson (Little Dorrit, Hotel Babylon) and Jerry Hall (Calendar Girls) star in a two-part adaptation of Martin Amis’ darkly comedic tale of excess, greed and flawed ambition set at the beginnings of Eighties capitalism.

The uplifting story of Lindsay and Robert, a lovestruck teenage couple. Lindsay, an ambitious diver, is selected to represent team GB at the 2012 Olympics but when the pair discover she is pregnant they are forced to make life-changing decisions about their future.
The Sinking Of The Laconia

Acclaimed British writer Alan Bleasdale (Boys From The Blackstuff; GBH) returns to the BBC with Laconia, a powerful new two-part drama based on factual accounts of the attack and sinking of RMS Laconia in September 1942. The drama will explore the human side of the story, which later became known as “The Laconia Incident”.

At 10pm on 12 September 1942, German U-Boat U-156 torpedoed and sunk the armed British vessel RMS Laconia. Believing he had scored one of the greatest military coups of maritime warfare in the Second World War, Lt Commander Werner Hartenstein acted beyond the call of duty – and against orders from the Nazi high command – in undertaking a daring rescue operation when he discovered the ship he had just sunk was, in fact, carrying large numbers of civilians and thousands of Italian prisoners-of-war.

The extraordinary events which followed saw Hartenstein put out a personal plea for assistance in shepherding Laconia survivors – be they British, Italian or Polish – towards safety.
The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister

A bold and passionate drama written by Jane English (Street Dance 3D, Sugar Rush) about Anne Lister, a Yorkshire landowner, industrialist, traveller and diarist living at the turn of the 18th century.

She was a lesbian, who, despite needing to keep her orientation secret from society at large, in private defied the conventions of her times by living with her female lover.

Anne Lister kept a detailed account of her life, her loves and her emotions in a fascinating and painfully honest four million word journal. A sizeable portion was written in code and the recent deciphering of these diaries provides an astonishing insight into the life of the woman who has been called Britain’s first modern lesbian.
BBC Three
Being Human

Series Two of this award-winning drama about the lives of three flatmates who just happen to be a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire. The first episode of series two aired on 10 January with an overnight audience of 1.4 million – a 50% increase on the first series opener.
Lip Service

A bold new drama about the sex lives and love affairs of twenty-something lesbians living in contemporary Glasgow.
BBC Four
Lennon Naked

Played by Christopher Eccleston, Lennon Naked charts his transition from Beatle John to enduring and enigmatic icon.


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