The Fades director Farren Blackburn makes his feature directorial debut; golfer Sam Torrance [pictured] to have a cameo.

Fresh from directing the Doctor Who Christmas Special for the BBC, Farren Blackburn is in pre-production on Dream On, a new British feature film that will be shooting at Elstree.

Adapted from the best-selling book by John Richardson, Dream On tells how Richardson, in early middle age and having just seen his business go bust, embarks on a Quixotic quest to become a “scratch” golfer. When he meets the Ryder Cup legend Sam Torrance in a bar, Richardson’s feelings of inferiority make him blurt out he will play a below par round of golf within a year. “Dream on,” Torrance replies to him. Torrance is expected to have a walk-on part in the film.

The film will mark Blackburn’s debut feature as a director. He has already been winning plaudits for his work on BBC 3 supernatural horror series, The Fades.

The £2m Dream On, which is being made through London-based Artifice, is being produced by Mark Pegg, Arttifice’s Creative Director. Former actor Pegg is well known to British TV audiences from his stint playing Alfie Kane in Eastenders. He also appeared in hit TV series Our Friends In The North. Pegg produced the 2006 feature Heroes and Villains, starring James Corden and Jenny Agutter.

The film is being financed through EIS and private investment. Shooting is due to start at Elstree and golf courses in the studio’s vicinity in March next year.

“I read the book because I am a keen golfer,” producer Pegg commented. “It was only when reading the book that I thought it would make a wonderful film.”

Pegg describes Blackburn’s script as a cross between “Confessions of a Shopaholic and Rocky…it’s about somebody who becomes totally obsessed with something and the things that happen in the rest of his life because of it.”

Sales agents are circling the project and the full cast will be announced shortly.

Artifice is also pushing ahead with horror film Deathlines.