story of Stephen Hawking's early years told for the first time in
a major drama for BBC TWO
story of the early years of world-renowned theoretical physicist
Stephen Hawking is to be made into a one-off drama for BBC TWO.
by Peter Moffatt (Cambridge Spies), Hawking (working title) stars
Benedict Cumberbatch as the young Stephen Hawking who, as a bright
and ambitious PhD student at Cambridge University, is diagnosed
with the debilitating motor neurone disease and given two years
the odds he goes on to achieve worldwide acclaim and success, in
particular with his astounding book A Brief History Of Time.
is a cross-genre collaboration between BBC Drama and Science, produced
by Jessica Pope and directed by specialist factual documentary film-maker
Philip Martin, who made the acclaimed series Stephen Hawking's Universe.
Lynch, Creative Director of BBC Science, says: "Stephen Hawking
is one of the greatest theoretical physicists of the modern era.
has spent his life applying Einstein's concepts of relativity to
determining the origins of the universe.
his books he has opened up the world of physics and cosmology to
millions of ordinary people and yet little is known of his life
before he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
as a result of the relationship that BBC Science has developed with
Professor Hawking, we have the opportunity to tell his story, with
Tranter, Controller of Drama Commissioning, adds: "Hawking
represents a growing trend of ambitious, cross-genre collaborations
between the BBC's Factual, Entertainment and Drama genres which
bring together the skills and talents of programme-makers across
the BBC to extend drama into new areas, bringing a new perspective
collaborations include Byron, Nick Dear's two-part drama starring
Jonny Lee Miller in the title role; D-Day and Dunkirk drama documentaries;
and Pepys, a film by Guy Jenkin with Steve Coogan in the title role.
Love Again, a film based on the life of poet Philip Larkin starring
Hugh Bonneville, was shown in July.
Cumberbatch's previous credits include Cambridge Spies, Silent Witness
and Spooks for the BBC.
Brandon, who is currently playing Jerry Springer in the highly successful
National Theatre production of Jerry Springer- The Opera, plays
Arno Penzias, an American Nobel prize-winning scientist whose work
provided physical evidence to back up Hawking's Big Bang theory.
Dillon, who is currently on stage in Ibsen's The Master Builder
alongside Patrick Stewart, plays Hawking's first wife, Jane Wilde.
Martin's directing credits include Stephen Hawking's Universe, a
six-part series for BBC TWO, on the origins of the cosmos, presented
by Stephen Hawking; Wings of Angels, a drama for BBC TWO about David
Lack; and Double Helix, a two-part social history series for BBC
is being filmed in Cambridge and London over the next four weeks
and is due for transmission next year on BBC TWO.
executive producers are Laura Mackie, Head of BBC Drama Serials,
and John Lynch, Creative Director, BBC Science.
an intimate portrait of the great diarist, naval strategist and
adulterer, starts filming for BBC TWO (04.09.03)
to film the true story of Dunkirk (02.09.03)
press pack (26.08.03)
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