Big, brave and bold: Autumn 2005 on BBC ONE
The wonder of nature, the magic of ancient Egypt, Dickens with a twist
and Shakespeare setting out to tame modern audiences - it's a big and
bold £226m season on BBC ONE.
Unveiling his first Autumn season as Controller of BBC ONE, Peter Fincham presents a rich range of programming featuring landmark documentary
and two ambitious drama initiatives at the heart of the channel; four
brand new Shakespeare adaptations from some of the UK's top writing
talent; and a stunning reworking of Bleak
Featuring an all-star cast and adapted by Andrew Davies,
it will be shown twice a week in half-hour episodes - giving today's viewers
all the pace, multiple storylines and gripping cliff hanger endings of
the original text.
Peter Fincham said: "It's the role of BBC ONE to take risks, whether
that is commissioning not one but four Shakespeare adaptations to deliver
the classics in a new and unusual way, or scheduling the forerunners of
the soaps in a way that modern audiences understand.
"This Autumn's line-up is absolutely heading in the direction that
BBC ONE must continue to go: big, bold pieces in a rich and varied schedule
which tempt the viewers into new areas."
After more than 50 years on the natural history front line, David
Attenborough still has over 200 million creatures to investigate.
Invertebrates have dominated our world - now viewers can enter theirs,
as Life In The Undergrowth
uses state-of-the- art technology and breath-taking photography to get
up close for the first time.
From bugs, beetles, spiders and scorpions to the most amazing butterflies
and dragonflies, David introduces the audience to a host of incredible
scenes never captured before.
Also launching this season is a major new landmark series: BBC ONE dramatises
the story of the people who first uncovered Ancient Egypt for the modern
Egypt tells the story
of the adventurers, archaeologists and explorers who travelled through
Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, igniting a fascination
with Egypt that has been burning ever since.
Much Ado About Nothing,
The Taming Of The Shrew,
A Midsummer Night's Dream
and Macbeth have been
imaginatively updated for a modern audience - and feature a stellar cast.
David Nicholl's Much
Ado About Nothing is pure romantic comedy set in a regional
newsroom. Sarah Parish stars as Beatrice, a popular evening
regional news presenter whose ex-lover and arch enemy Benedick, played
by Damian Lewis, is hired as her co-anchor. Billie
Piper plays weathergirl Hero.
Peter Bowker sets a Midsummer
Night's Dream during a surreal weekend away at a holiday
park featuring four warring couples, a donkey's head and a gaggle of fairies,
with Imelda Staunton, Bill Paterson,
Johnny Vegas and Sharon Small.
Peter Moffat's Macbeth
is transposed to the enclosed and heated world of a top London restaurant
kitchen, as James McAvoy stars as an arrogant megalomaniac
chef driven to murder by the scheming Keeley Hawes as
Shirley Henderson plays Kate to Rufus
Sewell's Petruchio in Sally Wainwright's version
of The Taming Of The Shrew.
It's a tale of relationships against the backdrop of politics as Kate,
an opposition MP, is instructed to find a husband to make her more electable.
Bleak House, a passionate
indictment of the legal system, is one of Dickens' most celebrated achievements,
serialised as the author intended and starring Gillian Anderson,
Denis Lawson, Charles Dance,
Alistair McGowan, Pauline Collins and Johnny
Other seasonal highlights include:
A woman, a politician, a monarch and an icon, The
Virgin Queen stars Anne-Marie Duff as
Elizabeth I. Paula Milne's powerfully authored drama explores the full
sweep of an extraordinary life. Also starring Joanne Whalley,
Dexter Fletcher, Tara Fitzgerald and
Professor Robert Winston presents
a definitive documentary series on the history of mankind's quest to understand
the nature of God. The Story Of God explores
religious beliefs from their earliest incarnations through to the development
of today's major world religions and the status of religious faith in
a scientific age.
charts the work of Operation Trident, the Metropolitan Police unit that
deals with gun crime within London's black communities. Roger
Graef's film reveals a side of London that is rarely seen and
often ignored by the mainstream press. This film follows Trident's investigations
into the criminals who regularly carry guns and meets the bereaved families
and surviving victims of gun crime.
Mathematics takes an unusual centre stage as
Terry Jones tells The Story
Of One. It's a numerical mystery tour: a story of where
numbers come from, from how the number one inspired some of the greatest
minds in history and teamed up with zero to create digital.
Bill Oddie asks how much we see and
read about dinosaurs is accurate, in
The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs. He will be putting the
giants of the dinosaur world through their paces, testing and challenging
the latest theories as life size
bio-mechanical replicas reveal their devastating power.
Vicky Pollard, Emily and the only gay in the village
join some new faces bringing some new catchphrases to BBC ONE for the
third series of Little Britain.
Only Fools and Horses favourites Marlene and Boycie
start a new life in Shropshire in John Sullivan's new
sitcom Green, Green Grass.
Ben Miller, Sarah Alexander
and Alison Steadman return for the second series of The
Worst Week Of My Life. Things look they are going well
for Howard and Mel but seven days in the life of Howard Steel are never
Tamsin Greig, Micheal Landes
and Trudie Styler star in Love
Soup, a romantic comedy drama series from the creator
of One Foot In The Grave, David Renwick. It deals with
the paralleled lives of a perfectly matched couple who have yet to meet
is a domestic comedy from multi-award winning writer and comedian Ben
Elton about the trials and tribulations of a young couple bringing
up two small children. Starring Ardal O'Hanlon and