Former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston and The Office star Mackenzie Crook are to star in a new six-part BBC One drama from Jimmy McGovern.
The pair appear in the first two episodes of Accused, a new six-part series of separate stories which all start with ordinary individuals being led to the dock to hear their fate.
McGovern says: “In the time it takes to climb the steps to the court we tell the story of how the accused came to be here. We see the crime and we see the punishment. Nothing else. No police procedure, thanks very much, no coppers striding along corridors with coats flapping. Just crime and punishment – the two things that matter most in any crime drama.”
In an episode set to start filming later this month, Eccleston will play lapsed Catholic Willy, a loving father who fails to be a faithful husband.
Just when Willy is about to confess to his wife Carmel, played by Pooky Quesnel, his daughter announces she’s getting married. Willy’s guilty secret must wait while pressure from all sides keeps growing. He is about to implode when he finds something in the back of a cab and it’s either the answer to his prayers or the beginning of his downfall…
Crook stars as Buckley, a soldier’s soldier – a man you need on your side if you are to survive. The Soldier Story is written by Jimmy McGovern and begins filming on 10 May.
Newcomers Benjamin Smith and Ben Batt play Frankie Nash and Peter McShane respectively, two friends who join the British army. Soon they are on the frontline in Afghanistan where they learn that not obeying orders has deadly consequences, and that the enemy are not necessarily who you think they are. Robert Pugh plays Peter McShane Senior, an army veteran who is proud to have a son in the military keeping the family tradition alive.
The BBC say four further episodes are currently being cast and will be filmed m in and around Manchester until the end of August this year.