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Moses Jones: Joe Penhall's first original drama for BBC Two starts shooting


Moses Jones, Joe Penhall's first original series for BBC Two, made by BBC Drama Productions, has begun shooting in London, it was announced today.

 

Penhall's TV credits include BBC Two's critically-acclaimed adaptation of Jake Arnott's novel The Long Firm and the Olivier award-winning play Blue/Orange.

 

His film credits include Ian McEwan's Enduring Love and the forthcoming adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road starring Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortensen.

 

Kate Harwood, BBC Controller, Series & Serials, says: "Joe Penhall is an amazing writing talent, and this is an incredibly exciting project for BBC Drama Production.

 

"Moses Jones is a vibrant and atmospheric thriller set in the heart of London, which will capture the imagination of the BBC Two drama audience."

 

Shaun Parkes (The Mummy Returns, Casanova, Doctor Who, Blue/Orange) plays Moses Jones in his first leading role for television.

 

Parkes heads up a cast of new and established talent which boasts Matt Smith (Party Animals, Ruby In the Smoke), Eamonn Walker (Oz, Othello), Dennis Waterman (New Tricks, Canterbury Tales), Indira Varma (Torchwood, Rome) and Jude Akuwudike (Silent Witness) – plus newcomers Wunmi Mosaku (Doctors) and Obi Abili (Afterlife).

 

The story, told over three 60-minute episodes, begins when a wave of violence hits London following the discovery of the bizarrely mutilated body of a man in the Thames.

 

First appearances suggest a witchcraft killing. But the dark reality is more complicated – and even more frightening.

 

Assigned to the case is young, hopeful DS Dan Twentyman (Matt Smith) and his senior partner DI Moses Jones (Shaun Parkes), seconded from Scotland Yard due to cultural links with the local community.

 

But, confronted by a wall of silence, Jones and Twentyman become increasingly confused as they grapple with the various complexities.

 

All roads lead to the Afrigo Club, where kingpin band leader Solomon (Eamonn Walker) plays with his band.

 

As the search deepens, the violence escalates and the investigation grinds to a halt.

 

But one name crops up again and again – a mysterious godfather figure rumored to have both terror links and supernatural powers.

 

Forced to ask himself tough questions about his own sanity and cultural identity, Moses Jones embarks on a frightening quest to track down his man and redeem himself before the community implodes... and the killer strikes again.

 

Joe Penhall says: "Moses Jones is about the complexity of humanity and the assumptions that make us who we are – and who we aren't.

 

"Cultural assumptions are blunt instruments, they tend to be simplistic and dangerous – yet still we cling to them, particularly in this country.

 

"With much of the world at war, life is increasingly cheap. Life is now as cheap here as it is in the third world. But every act of violence, however banal, has its own complex, often unfathomable origin."

 

Filming in London this summer, Moses Jones is directed by Michael Offer (The Passion, The State Within). The producer is Cameron Roach (Bad Girls, Life on Mars) and executive producers are Hilary Salmon (The Passion, Criminal Justice, Maxwell, The Long Firm) and Joe Penhall.

 

Moses Jones was commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction.

 

The commission of Moses Jones continues the steady stream of diverse productions from BBC Drama Production. Led by Nicolas Brown, recent successes include acclaimed series such as Criminal Justice, The Curse Of Comedy, Cranford, Oliver Twist, The Passion and Lark Rise To Candleford which returns to BBC One later this year.

 

The BBC One autumn drama schedule includes treats such as Little Dorrit, Tess Of The D'Urbervilles and Survivors.

 

BBC Two's distinctive drama slate continues to grow, with Burn Up and BBC Drama Production's House Of Saddam and the long-awaited second series of The Tudors recently transmitted to critical acclaim.

 

Later this year, viewers will be given the rare chance to see two television adaptations of acclaimed stage plays on the channel – My Zinc Bed from David Hare, starring Uma Thurman and Jonathan Pryce (Pirates Of The Caribbean), and Caryl Churchill's A Number, starring Tom Wilkinson (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) and Rhys Ifans (Enduring Love).

 

The diversity continues with the highly-anticipated series three of Heroes in September.

 

AF

 

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Category: TV Drama; BBC Two
Date: 11.08.2008
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