Paula Milne’s new Cold War thriller, Legacy, recruits stellar cast for BBC Two

Leading on from the recent success of drama on BBC Two, Paula’s script is guaranteed to make Legacy the most bold and ambitious drama imaginable.”Lucy Richer, BBC Executive Producer
Date: 04.07.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.49
Category: BBC Two; Drama
Charlie Cox (Stardust, Boardwalk Empire), Romola Garai (The Hour, The Crimson Petal And The White), Andrew Scott (Sherlock, The Town) and Simon Russell Beale (The Hollow Crown, My Week With Marilyn) have been cast in Legacy.

Legacy is a single film from a screenplay by award-winning writer Paula Milne (The Politician’s Husband, Endgame), based on the novel by Alan Judd and produced by Slim Film + Television for BBC Two. This gripping espionage thriller, set in 1974, in the middle of the Cold War, will be directed by BAFTA award-winning Pete Travis (Dredd, Endgame, Omagh) and reunites Paula and Pete for the first time since their collaboration on Endgame (for which they won the George Foster Peabody Award).

The 90-minute film tells the compelling story of a young spy, Charles Thoroughgood (Cox), who discovers the disturbing truth about his father’s complex past.

Paula Milne says: “Legacy falls well within the genre of the British spy thriller but has an extraordinary personal twist. For what is espionage if not betrayal at the most fundamental level of human interactions? When that occurs within a family… It's dynamite!”

Fresh out of the army, Charles has barely begun his training in Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, when his university association with a Soviet diplomat lands him on a case.

The diplomat, Viktor Koslov (Scott), has been working in London and his behaviour suggests he could be turned. Charles's bosses hope to exploit Viktor for their own purposes. But when Charles makes contact, Viktor reveals certain information that he would rather not believe.

His life is further complicated by a relationship with the wife of another agent. He is forced to realize that betrayal can take many forms.

Romola Garai plays Anna and Simon Russell Beale plays Hookey. Further casting includes: Olivia Grant (Strike Back, Lark Rise To Candleford) as Eva, Christian McKay (Rush, Tinker Taylor Solider Spy) as Hugo and Tessa Peake Jones (Marchlands) as Joyce.

Lucy Richer, BBC Executive Producer, comments: ”Charlie is going to make a fantastic Charles Thoroughgood and I’m delighted to have such a talented cast on board. Leading on from the recent success of drama on BBC Two, Paula’s script is guaranteed to make Legacy the most bold and ambitious drama imaginable.”

Simon Crawford Collins, Executive Producer for Slim Film + Television, adds: “Armed with Paula’s gripping screenplay and Pete’s crystal clear vision, we were confident that this project would attract an amazing cast – but the reality has surpassed even our highest expectations. Slim couldn’t be happier with this line up for its first ever production.”

The production, based on Alan Judd’s novel of the same name, was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama and Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two. The film is executive produced by Simon Crawford Collins, Paula Milne and Alan Judd for Slim Film + Television and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Legacy will be directed by Pete Travis and produced by Rob Bullock (Suspicions Of Mr Whicher, Case Sensitive). Rebecca Ferguson (Spooks) will be script executive.

Legacy has been commissioned as part of BBC Two’s Cold War moment which will also include a series of factual commissions exploring the cultural and political upheaval of a tumultuous period in history that divided the world in half and shaped modern politics.