The undeclared War Adrian Lester as PM Andrew Makinde

C4 launches its new thriller with a multi-channel “emergency broadcast”

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The Undeclared War stars Adrian Lester and Simon Pegg. 

Last Friday night, Channel 4 kicked off the marketing for their upcoming cyber thriller in innovative fashion.

At 8.59 PM, in the form of a government “emergency broadcast”, Prime Minister Rt Hon Andrew Makinde (Adrian Lester) addressed the nation to tell us of the threat. He was joined by GCHQ’s Head of Operations Daniel Patrick (Simon Pegg) in a trailer that aired simultaneously on Channel 4, E4 and Film4, as well as on the broadcaster’s social media channels.

The Undeclared War

Be vigilant, be ready and, above all, remain calm… #TheUndeclaredWar coming soon to Channel 4 and All 4

The Undeclared War comes from multiple BAFTA-winner Peter Kosminsky, who is the show’s creator, director and co-writer. Set in a post-pandemic 2024 in the run-up to a British general election, the drama tracks a leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ secretly working to ward off a cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system.

An impressive ensemble cast join Adrian Lester and Simon Pegg; Hannah Khalique-Brown, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Edward Holcroft, Alex Jennings, German Segal, Tinatin Dalakishvili, Hattie Morahan, Ed Stoppard, Kerry Godliman and Mark Rylance will all feature in the six-part drama.

The Undeclared War - Simon Pegg as Daniel Patrick

Peter Kosminsky directed all six episodes and has written four. Other writers include Declan Lawn, Adam Patterson, and Amelia Spencer. Kosminsky is also the Executive Producer, alongside Colin Callender and Noëlette Buckley for Playground. The show’s Producer is Robert Jones.

War of the Worlds

The show’s promotional strategy is clearly going for something in the vein of Orson Wells’ infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast. However, a report in the press indicates some viewers failed to get the reference. Despite presenting a PM who was unmistakably fictional, there’s a suggestion of complaints to the broadcast regulator OFCOM. Apparently viewers were “confused” by the broadcast and its mention of mention of food shortages and rationing. Or perhaps they were just concerned about where Celebrity Gogglebox had got to (which might explain a lot!)

The Undeclared War does not have a start date yet, but we’ll keep you posted.