BBC Drama announces Occupation, a three-part drama for BBC One from Kudos Film and Television
A powerful new three-part drama serial from BBC Northern Ireland for BBC One, Occupation, by Peter Bowker, traces the lives of three British soldiers from the invasion of Basra in March 2003 to the present.
Commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction, Occupation is produced by Kudos Film and Television, creators of award-winning BBC One dramas Life On Mars, Spooks and Hustle.
Occupation is inspired by factual research, and reveals how the lives of three British men are shaped and transformed by their experiences in Iraq.
The drama is set in Basra and explores the personal journeys of three friends from the same regiment, and how they are inspired to return to Basra for different reasons – one for financial gain, one for love, and the third because of his belief in the mission to rebuild the country.
Bowker's drama explores how their different dreams come to define not just their lives but the war and the occupation itself.
The drama is set against the backdrop of growing sectarian conflict in Iraq, awash with billions of dollars from the US, creating a boom time for private military companies.
Peter Bowker's credits include the Golden Globe nominated and multi-award-winning Blackpool, Canterbury Tales, Undercover Heart and the BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning Flesh And Blood.
Peter Bowker says:
"It isn't a message piece in the sense that it can be boiled down to a simple take on the invasion of Iraq and its consequences. It's a story about three men who are united in battle, but are torn apart by the aftermath."
Derek Wax, executive producer for Kudos, says:
"Pete has an extraordinary ability to get inside the heads of these characters, and to explore the chaos and madness of this post-war period in Basra.
"This is a fiercely compelling story spanning the aftermath of the most significant war in recent history, a war that leaves so many huge questions unanswered."
Patrick Spence, Head of Drama, BBC Northern Ireland, says:
"We've been working on Occupation for four years, so I am incredibly proud to be watching them all head off into production, a brilliant script in their hands, absolutely determined to bring this story, and all that it means, to the widest possible audience."
This is Peter Bowker's and Derek Wax's third collaboration, after The King And Us (BBC Three) and Flesh And Blood (BBC Two).
Filming commences in Northern Ireland and Morocco in September 2008 for broadcast on BBC One in 2009.
Occupation is a Kudos Film and Television production for BBC Northern Ireland with financial support from Northern Ireland Screen.
The producer is Laurie Borg (Mrs Henderson Presents, And When Did You Last See Your Father), the director is Nick Murphy (Napoleon, Chernobyl, Primeval) and the executive producer is Derek Wax (Flesh And Blood, Sex Traffic, Tsunami, The Aftermath) and for BBC Northern Ireland, the executive producer is Patrick Spence.