Naomie Harris leads the cast in BBC Two's major new thriller Sweet Delta
Update: 22 May 2009 – The title of this programme has been changed to Blood And Oil.
Award-winning writer Guy Hibbert returns to the BBC with a powerful drama about two British women and their extraordinary journey deep into the hinterland of the Niger Delta – a beautiful but highly dangerous region of Nigeria.
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says:
"Guy Hibbert has created an authored, original, thrilling drama with emotional heart and a huge visual and political backdrop.
"Two women from different worlds are brought together by tragedy and forced into danger far away from their comfort zone.
"In a volatile world where chaos and corruption are rife, they are forced to ask tough questions of themselves in a battle to survive and find the truth."
Made by Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC Two (2 x 90 minutes), Sweet Delta boasts an impressive and diverse cast including Naomie Harris (Pirates Of The Caribbean, 28 Days Later), Jodhi May (Einstein And Eddington, The Street, Friends And Crocodiles), Paterson Joseph (Survivors), David Oyelowo (Five Days) and Peter Firth (Spooks).
Naomie Harris stars as Alice Omuka, a young and talented PR executive raised and educated in London, the daughter of a wealthy Nigerian businessman.
When Alice is sent to raise the profile of an international oil services company operating in the Niger Delta, she is thrown unprepared into the unstable, poverty-stricken world where her father grew up.
As soon as Alice arrives in Port Harcourt, news breaks that a militant group have kidnapped three Western oil workers.
She is tasked with dealing with Claire Unwin (Jodhi May), the distraught wife of one of the hostages, who has unexpectedly turned up desperate to find her husband.
What at first appears to be a routine hostage negotiation and handover soon turns into the stuff of nightmares.
The shocking reality is far more sinister and complicated – and Alice and Claire quickly discover they can trust no-one.
Determined to find the truth, Claire begs Alice to accompany her into the shanty towns of Port Harcourt and the lawless creeks of the Delta.
The two women embark on an intense and frightening journey into an edgy, chaotic place on the brink of civil breakdown and witness things they never imagined possible.
Guy Hibbert says: "This is a dangerous and unstable part of the world we have never seen portrayed before on screen and, after visiting in 2006, I felt that the impoverishment of the people by corruption in business and politics was a story that needed to be told.
"In Alice and Claire, I've tried to bring that home in an emotional way through two women who have their lives turned upside down by the consequences of that injustice."
Filmed on location in South Africa, Sweet Delta is a 2 x 90 minutes drama directed by David Attwood (Stuart A Life Backwards), produced by Susie Liggat (Doctor Who) and Mat Chaplin for Tiger Aspect.
The Executive Producers are Greg Brenman and Richard Fell for Tiger Aspect and Lucy Richer for the BBC.
Sweet Delta was commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction.
Guy Hibberts' credits include May 33rd, Omagh, No Child Of Mine and the forthcoming Five Minutes Of Heaven, for BBC Two, to be broadcast next year.
Tiger Aspect Productions recent credits for the BBC include Robin Hood, White Girl and Coming Down The Mountain.
BBC Two's distinctive drama slate continues to grow next year with Joe Penhall's first original series Moses Jones and Peter Bowker's Desperate Romantics, both made by BBC Drama Production.