Rising talent to lead BBC One’s First World War drama Passing Bells

Date: 08.05.2014     Last updated: 08.05.2014 at 11.38
BBC One today announces the casting on The Passing Bells, which will see two upcoming actors, Paddy Gibson (What Richard Did) and Jack Lowden (The Tunnel), lead the production alongside an ensemble of other young, new talent.

The powerful five-part drama sees the conflict of the First World War unfold through the eyes of two very ordinary young men, both of whom have enlisted in a war they expect will be over within months. The series has been written by Tony Jordan (Hustle, Life On Mars) and commissioned as part of the BBC’s programming to mark the Centenary of the First World War. Filming will begin shortly in Poland.

Gibson and Lowden will star as Thomas and Michael respectively, two young men for whom the war has little mercy, no matter which side they might be fighting for. Over five chronological years, we follow their lives as they grow up, lose friends and find love amid the horrors of the war. Alongside them, a cast of young British and German actors play their supporting battalions, including Charles Furness, Brian Fletcher, Wilf Scolding, Hubert Burton, Felix Auer, Ben McGregor, Mark Burghagen and Matthew Aubrey.

Back home, their families anxiously await news from the front. Eryka Karkuszewska and Sabrina Bartlett will play the young men’s love interests.

The Passing Bells is a 5x30-minute co-production from Jordan’s independent production company Red Planet Pictures and Apple Film Production through BBC Cymru Wales Drama. The executive producers are Tony Jordan and Belinda Campbell for Red Planet Pictures, Dariusz Jablonski for Apple Film Production and Bethan Jones for the BBC. The producer is Nick Pitt and Brendan Maher will direct.

Commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama, and Danny Cohen, Former Controller BBC One, The Passing Bells will form a key part of BBC One’s programming to mark the centenary of World War One. It will also be shown on Poland’s national broadcaster (TVP) in November 2014 to coincide with celebrations to mark the rebirth of the Polish nation at the end of World War One.