Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Danny Cohen announces new BBC One drama series, The Village

BBC One Controller, Danny Cohen

Speaking today at Edinburgh Television Festival, BBC One Controller, Danny Cohen announced The Village, an epic and emotional story of 20th century Britain seen through the life and times of one Derbyshire village.

One man, Bert Middleton, lives across the entire hundred years. His life, from boyhood to extreme old age, provides the narrative backbone. His last great act of remembering is our way in to an examination of who we are and why.

Written by award-winning writer Peter Moffat, over the course of the series the camera never leaves the village. Everything – great political events, upheavals in national identity, war and peace, ways of working, ways of being, how we lived, how we looked, how we died, what we ate, rules kept and rebellions made, sex, religion, class, the shaping of modern memory – refracted through the lives of the villagers and the village.

Peter Moffat says: "I'm interested in the very big and the very small. I wanted to know what it felt like to watch your son leave for war in 1914 and see the look in his eyes when he came home and then watch him leave again, as well as how to wash his uniform and what the postcards he sent home from France actually looked like; to know what it was to die from overwork and undernourishment in the Twenties, as well as how to retrieve a smoked ham from up a chimney.

"I wanted to be as rigorous as possible in telling these wonderful stories as lived experience and not construct them from received wisdoms and historical myth. I was constantly surprised by how things were not as I thought they were – and surprise always feels like a healthy starting point for any story."

Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One, says: "The Village is one of those scripts you read and can't wait to see realised on screen from the moment you turn the final page. It has the richness and emotional depth of the very finest writing, and I'm grateful to Peter Moffat for creating it for us."

John Griffin of Company Pictures, says: "We are delighted to be working with Peter Moffat again and thrilled to have such an exciting and ambitious project with the BBC. Peter is the perfect writer to combine a huge family saga with microscopic historical detail, giving a unique and personal view of the 20th century."

The Village is Company Pictures production for BBC One, commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One. Written by Peter Moffat, the 6x60-minute series will go in to production in the spring of 2012 and will be executive produced by George Faber for Company Pictures and Polly Hill at the BBC.


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