Award-winning playwright and dramatist, James Graham, will be drawing on his experiences of growing up in post-industrial Nottinghamshire for his latest collaboration with House Productions, titled Sherwood. Graham previously worked with House on the Emmy and Bafta-nominated Brexit: The Uncivil War.
Inspired in part by real events, James has created a brand-new fictional crime drama set in the Nottinghamshire mining village where he grew up. The contemporary six-part drama for BBC One sees two shocking and unexpected murders shatter an already fractured community leading to one of the largest manhunts in British history.
Suspicion is rife and the tragic murders threaten to inflame historic divisions sparked during the Miners’ Strike that tore families apart three decades before.
To solve the murders, police inspectors Ian St Clair, from the local constabulary, and Kevin Salisbury from the Met, must reunite and bury a rivalry that stretches back to 1984, in an attempt to heal wounds, and catch a killer.
But can a community repair itself as more is discovered about those who live there, and whether they really are who they say they are?
“It means the world to have this opportunity to bring the voices of a community I grew up in to BBC One,” said Graham.
“So much is spoken about the divisions and difficulties in these ‘Red Wall’ towns, but they’re not always understood. I feel so honoured to be able to tell a fictionalised story about a very real trauma, but with the humour and heart and resilience of the people I know and love there.”
Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross, executive producers for House Productions, added: “James has written an extraordinarily powerful drama, which has immense heart, wit and humanity – and, as ever with his writing, it’s a pertinent piece for our times.”
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama said: “In blending real and fictional events, James has created a penetrating, heartfelt and purposeful thriller which exposes the tensions and fault lines at the heart of modern Britain. Sherwood is set to be an exceptional series by one of our greatest dramatists and we are proud to be bringing it to BBC One.”
James Graham has written all six parts and will be an executive producer on the series. Lewis Arnold (Time, Des) is lead director and an executive producer, and the producer is Rebecca Hodgson (The Irregulars, Deep Water).
Juliette Howell, Tessa Ross and Harriet Spencer are executive producers for House Productions and Ben Irving will executive produce for BBC. Sherwood was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. BBC Studios will distribute the series internationally.
Sherwood is one of several dramas from House Productions, planned for production in 2021, which also includes the recently-announced Life After Life, an adaptation of the Kate Atkinson bestseller also for BBC One and Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle for Netflix; an adaptation of Stuart Turton’s Costa award-winning, bestselling novel.
Filming on Sherwood will begin later in 2021 in Nottinghamshire.