BBC Drama Reveals Raft of New Commissions and Commissioning Roles

Naman Ramachandran
·4-min read

BBC Drama has revealed eight new commissions from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England and announced four new commissioning roles.

From Northern Ireland, six-part BBC One series “Blue Lights” is a police drama created by the writers of “The Salisbury Poisonings,” Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn. It follows probationary police officers working in contemporary Belfast, who have to come to terms with a constant threat. The series is executive produced by Tommy Bulfin for the BBC, Stephen Wright for Two Cities Television and Louise Gallagher for Gallagher Films, and by Lawn and Patterson.

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Another BBC One six-parter, “Better,” is from from the writers of “Humans,” Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, and “Chernobyl” producer Sister. Set in Leeds in Northern England, the series follows a corrupt police detective who undergoes a painful moral awakening and decides to put right 20 years of wrongdoing, but satisfying her newfound conscience won’t be straightforward. The series is executive produced by Mona Qureshi for the BBC and Jane Featherstone, Chris Fry, Lucy Dyke, Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley for Sister in association with Northern Sister.

Set in Scotland, three-part BBC One series “The Control Room” follows Gabe, an ordinary man who works as an emergency call handler for the Scottish Ambulance Service in Glasgow whose turned upside down when he receives a desperate life-and-death call from a woman who appears to know him. It is written by BAFTA and RTS award winning writer Nick Leather (“Mother’s Day”) and executive produced by Gaynor Holmes for the BBC and Elaine Cameron for Hartswood Films. The producer is Eric Coulter and director is Amy Neil.

Set in Wales, six-part BBC One series “Wolf” is written by Megan Gallagher and based on Mo Hayder’s acclaimed Jack Caffery novels, and follows a family who find themselves the victims of a psychopath’s cruel games. It is executive produced by Ben Irving for the BBC, Elaine Cameron for Hartswood Films and Laurent Boissel for APC Studios.

Four-part BBC One series “Rules of the Game” stars Maxine Peake as Sam, a hard-headed manager at a family run business in the North West who finds a body in the office reception one day. It is written by Ruth Fowler with George Faber and Mark Pybus as executive producers for The Forge, Lucy Richer and Ayela Butt for the BBC. Jennifer Sheridan will direct all four episodes and the producer is Simon Meyers.

Inspired by DJ Target’s book, six-part BBC Three series “Grime Kids” explores the emergence of grime music from subculture to international phenomenon, written by BAFTA nominated and BIFA winning writer Theresa Ikoko (“Rocks”). It is executive produced by Ben Irving for the BBC, Theresa Ikoko and DJ Target and Tom Leggett, Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen.

Ryan J. Brown’s six-part BBC Three series “Wrecked,” filmed in Northern Ireland, is a mystery thriller, mixing black comedy with a slice of slasher, set aboard a mega cruise ship. It is executive produced by Tommy Bulfin for the BBC and Noemi Spanos for Euston Films.

Six-part BBC Three series “Domino Day” is created and written by Lauren Sequeira and set in Manchester. It follows Domino who has one small advantage in the dating game: she isn’t swiping to find her soulmate— she’s using it to hunt. It is executive produced by Lucy Richer and Ayela Butt for the BBC, Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey for Dancing Ledge Productions and Lauren Sequeira.

In addition, the BBC has appointed Jessica Loveland as the head of new writing who will lead the new writers room based in Salford. She is currently head of BFI Network and will start in June.

The BBC has also created four new assistant commissioning roles to lead on new writer development and support the existing commissioning editors in the drama team. Ben Irving, Tommy Bulfin and Gaynor Holmes are the commissioning editors for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively, and Jo McClellan will be commissioning editor for the North of England with immediate effect. The new assistant commissioner roles will have dual reporting lines to the commissioning editors and the head of new writing.

These efforts are part of the BBC’s recent plans to expand operations outside of London.

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