Sky Atlantic has commissioned its highest-profile UK content yet, including an adaptation of Robert Wilson’s Javier Falcón novels and two landmark series on Britain from Jane Root’s Nutopia and Morgan Spurlock.
The multimillion-pound investment in content was unveiled by Sky Atlantic director Elaine Pyke.
Mammoth Screen, the indie behind BBC1’s upcoming period drama Parade’s End, will adapt two of Wilson’s Spanish crime-drama novels, featuring Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón.
The Blind Man of Seville and The Silent and the Damned will each play out over two 60-minute episodes, which will be entirely shot in the detective’s home of Seville. It will aim to capture the shadowy, atmospheric and vibrant city of the novels.
Mammoth joint managing directors Michele Buck and Damien Timmer are the executive producers, alongside Sky’s Huw Kennair Jones. Julia Stannard is the producer, while Anne Mensah is the commissioner.
“Falcón will expose the ugly and raw underbelly of Seville life. It’s very sexy and grown up,” Pyke said.
Separately, Nutopia will chart the 2,000-year history of Britain and Ireland in 7 x 60-minute series Great Britain: Our Story.
It is effectively the UK version of Nutopia’s America: The Story of Us, which represented History’s biggest-ever commission and was introduced by US president Barack Obama.
It will tell the story of some unsung heroes of history through drama and CGI, and will sweep across the UK to show how it has evolved over time.
A swathe of celebrities are being lined up to contribute to the series, although their names are being kept under wraps. The US version featured Meryl Streep and Donald Trump.
Great Britain: Our Story will be executive produced by Root and Ben Goold for Nutopia, and Celia Taylor for Sky. Sam Starbuck and Michael Waterhouse are the series producers.
In addition, Oscar-nominated doc-maker Spurlock is to dissect the eccentricities of British culture for the 10 x 60-minute Morgan Spurlock’s New Britannia.
The man behind McDonald’s investigation Super Size Me will take a comic glance at the behaviour and institutions of Britain.
Travelling the country, he will take in the general public’s concept of class, the intricacies of views on foreigners and attitudes to fame. Spurlock will also soak up British traditions.
Pyke said: “It will be Morgan doing what he does very well – making a documentary, but with a clever, entertainment twist.”
Thumbs Up Productions and Spurlock’s indie, Warrior Poets, will produce New Britannia. Mark Sammon, Marty Redman, Jeremy Chilnick and Spurlock are all executive producers.
Finally, Sky Atlantic has ordered a series on the British cycling team’s Olympic preparations and a separate documentary on Bradley Wiggins.
Twofour Productions will make the 6 x 60-minute Great British Cycling Team — Road to the Olympics and 60-minute Bradley Wiggins: Tour of Duty.
They were ordered by Celia Taylor and will be executive produced by Twofour’s Andy Mackenzie and Clare Handford for Sky.
This story was originally published by Broadcast.