Toby Jones, Vicky McClure and Stephen Graham to star in BBC One’s The Secret Agent

I am both excited and intrigued by the challenge of playing Verloc, the eponymous hero of Conrad’s startlingly relevant novel The Secret Agent.Tony Jones
Date: 11.09.2015     Last updated: 11.09.2015 at 09.00
Toby Jones (Marvellous, The Girl) will star in Tony Marchant’s (The Mark Of Cain, Garrow's Law) adaptation of the classic Joseph Conrad thriller, The Secret Agent for BBC One, directed by Charles McDougall (Hillsborough, Queer As Folk, The Good Wife), his first UK drama for a decade.

Produced by Line Of Duty's World Productions for BBC One, Jones will play Verloc, whose seedy Soho shop hides his role as an agent of the Russian Embassy, spying on a group of London anarchists.

Furious that Britain tolerates violent extremists, the Russians want Verloc to provoke a bomb outrage that will trigger a government crackdown. Caught between the Russians and the British police, Verloc drags his unsuspecting family into a tragic terror plot.

Toby comments: “I am both excited and intrigued by the challenge of playing Verloc, the eponymous hero of Conrad’s startlingly relevant novel The Secret Agent.”

The stellar cast includes Vicky McClure (Line Of Duty, This Is England) as Verloc’s previously loyal wife, Winnie, Stephen Graham (Pirates Of The Caribbean, Boardwalk Empire, This Is England) as Verloc’s adversary Chief Inspector Heat, and Ian Hart (Boardwalk Empire, The Driver) as the dangerously unpredictable Professor.

Vicky says: “I'm so excited to play the part of Winnie. It's an incredible script. And delighted to work with Toby Jones - I've always been a huge fan of his."

Stephen adds: “I am really excited to be a part of this project with some fantastic actors and an amazing director.”

Tom Goodman-Hill (Humans, Mr Selfridge) will play Heat’s boss, Assistant Commissioner Stone and David Dawson (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) plays Verloc’s Russian handler, Vladimir. The anarchists include Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Love/Hate, Becoming Jane) as Michaelis and Raphael Acloque (The Ivory Year, Pushaway) as Ossipon.

The Secret Agent (3x60) is executive produced for World Productions by Simon Heath (Line Of Duty, The Great Train Robbery, United) and by Polly Hill for BBC One, and produced by Priscilla Parish (Code Of A Killer). The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, former Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.

Filming commences this month.

Executive producer Simon Heath says: “It’s a privilege to be working with such a terrific cast to bring to life Tony's brilliant adaptation.”

Writer Tony Marchant adds: "I can't think of any actors better suited to delivering the modernity and authenticity of Conrad's work to the screen."

SJP