BBC Two to broadcast Cold War thriller Legacy

Simon Russell Beale Simon Russell Beale stars in a Cold War thriller

BBC Two will explore the shadow cast by the Cold War with Legacy, a thriller that tells the story of a young spy.

Written by Paula Milne, whose credits include The Politician's Husband and Endgame, the 90-minute film is set in 1970s London, with Romola Garai and Simon Russell Beale in leading roles.

Milne chooses to explore the traditional spy genre by looking at what effect it has on someone's family dynamics.

'Legacy falls well within the genre of the British spy thriller but has an extraordinary personal twist. For what is espionage if not betrayal at the most fundamental level of human interactions? When that occurs within a family… It's dynamite!' the screenwriter says.

Milne's extensive career encompasses television and film and started with a series called Angels for the BBC in 1975. She wrote the acclaimed The Politician's Wife in 1995, a Channel 4 three-part series with Juliet Stevenson and Trevor Eve that won a clutch of prestigious awards.

Spies revisited

In Legacy, Charles is training for Britain's secret intelligence service when his association with a Soviet diplomat lands him on a case.

As Charles gets drawn deeper into the intrigue of international espionage, he falls in love with someone who is deeply entangled in the dangerous world he inhabits.

The drama - directed by Pete Travis, whose credits also include Endgame (with Milne) and Omagh - is based on a novel by Alan Judd.

Charlie Cox and Andrew Scott have also been cast in the production.

Legacy will lead a season of dramas and documentaries that reflect on the Cold War, 50 years after the conclusion of the Korean War and the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

The era is looked at with modern eyes in a three-part series presented by Dominic Sandbrook. The historian, writer and journalist narrates Strange Days, which draws on his work on post-war Britain and 70s America.

Janice Hadlow, the controller of BBC Two, says the 'the Cold War is ripe for a reappraisal. I'm thrilled that talent of the calibre of Paula Milne and Dominic Sandbrook are leading a collection of programmes that will reinvigorate the Cold War genre for a new generation'.


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