Channel 4 pilot written by Peep Show team underway; cast includes Brit Marling, Jimmy Nesbitt, Adam Deacon.
Filming has begun on the Danny Boyle-directed feature-length pilot episode of anticipated Channel 4 series Babylon, written by Peep Show duo Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong.
Details of the production have been kept under wraps until this weekend when cast and plot details have been revealed.
The eclectic cast is led by US actress Brit Marling with co-stars James Nesbitt, Paterson Joseph, Jill Halfpenny, Adam Deacon, Daniel Kaluuya, Jonny Sweet, Andrew Brooke and Bertie Carvel.
The six-part London-set documentary-style series, due to shoot next year, will focus on police from all levels of the force.
In need of a public image revamp chief constable Richard Miller (Jimmy Nesbitt) has found just the woman to do it: Liz Garvey (Brit Marling) – an American visionary from the world of new media, parachuted in to revolutionise a PR department struggling to keep up in an age of rolling news, smart phones and a news-breaking, information-hungry public.
Most of the supporting cast will play police officers while Kaluuya is a filmmaker following the force.
Babylon is commissioned by Piers Wenger, Channel 4’s head of drama, and is created and exec produced by Danny Boyle, Robert Jones (The Usual Suspects, Dirty Pretty Things), Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, and produced by Jones and Derrin Schlesinger (This Is England ’86, Four Lions, Southcliffe).
The production marks Boyle’s first return to TV in 12 years.
The director is also set to make a ten-part miniseries for US network FX called Telemark.
The period drama is set during the Second World War and tells the story of a group of British trained resistance fighters who helped prevent Hitler from developing a nuclear program.
Telemark is written by Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy and produced by Cloud Eight Films, the indie set up by 127 Hours producer Christian Colson and Decibel Films, Boyle’s indie.
“As we all know, some of the very best narrative fiction ever told is currently being created as episodic television,” said Beaufoy.
“This incredible story is ideally suited to the slower burn and added complexity that the longer format allows, and I can’t wait to get my teeth into this.”