Nightsleeper - Joe Cole as Joe Roag

Nightsleeper – first look images from the real-time thriller (updated)

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The series is helmed by Doctor Who director Jamie Magnus Stone. 

Updated 23/11/23: With the show due next year, the BBC have released first images from its upcoming thriller Nightsleeper.

The real-time drama, which takes place on an intercity sleeper service between Glasgow and London, follows a government agency’s frantic efforts to intervene in the rapidly-escalating events onboard.

The images released feature the show’s two stars, Joe Cole and Alexandra Roach.

Nightsleeper: Alexandra Roach as Abby Aysgarth
Alexandra Roach as Abby Aysgarth

Alexandra Roach plays Abby Aysgarth, the Acting Technical Director at the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, who’s finally about to take a well-earned holiday when she receives a phone call that will change everything – the UK railway network is under attack.

Nightsleeper - Joe Cole as Joe Roag
Joe Cole as Joe Roag

Joe Cole is Joe Roag, an off-duty police officer onboard and who’s hoping for a quiet night. However, over the next six rollercoaster hours, Joe’s about to get anything but, as he and Abby battle both their own distrust and the unpredictable behaviour of the person or persons now in control, desperate to try and stop the Heart of Britain from reaching the end of the line, in more ways than one…

Nightsleeper is produced by Euston Films (Wreck), a Fremantle label. The series directors are Jamie Magnus Stone (Doctor Who, Ten Pound Poms) and John Hayes (Dublin Murders). The writers are Nick Leather with Laura Grace (Episode 4 and 5). The Producer is Jonathan Curling and Co-Producer is Daisy Costello.

Executive Producers are Kate Harwood for Euston Films with Nick Leather, Jamie Magnus Stone, and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC.

For more details on the show, including the wider cast, see below. Nightsleeper will come to BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2024.

Updated 24/04/23: The BBC confirms the cast list for Nightsleeper.

With filming underway, we know now the drama’s roster of onscreen talent. The real-time thriller stars Alexandra Roach (Men Up) and Joe Cole (The Ipcress File).

Nightsleeper - Alexandra Roach (Image: Mark Gregson) and Joe Cole (Image: Tomo Brejc)

Joining them are a host of familiar CultBox favourites, including Lois Chimimba (Vigil), David Threlfall (Dodger), and Ruth Madeley (Years and Years, Doctor Who). The wider ensemble includes Alex Ferns, Sharon Small, James Cosmo,  Daniel Cahill,  Gabriel Howell, Katie Leung, Leah MacRae, Adam Mitchell, Pamela Nomvete, Scott Reid, Sharon Rooney and Parth Thakerar.

Writer Nick Leather said:

“It’s a joy to be able to write for this cast of some of the finest acting talent in the UK today – our train is a real rollercoaster, a white-knuckle trip through the heart of Britain, and I’m delighted to have them join us for the ride.”

The series is directed by Jamie Magnus Stone (Doctor Who, Ten Pound Poms) and John Hayes (Dublin Murders). Laura Grace joins writer Nick Leather to pen two episodes of the six-part drama. For further production details, check out the press release.

We’ll keep you posted on Nightsleeper.

Original article (of 09/12/22) follows…

Caledonian Sleeper

Nightsleeper – BBC hop aboard a real-time train thriller

The BBC have announced a new real-time thriller set on a Glasgow to London sleeper train.

Nightsleeper comes from writer Nick Leather (The Control Room) and will be directed by Jamie Magnus Stone. He’s been responsible for some of the biggest Doctor Who episodes across Series 12 & 13, including Spyfall: Part One and The Power of the Doctor.


Here’s the premise:

Can two people who’ve never met, one on the train and one not, work together to save the lives of its disparate group of passengers as the Heart of Britain service hurtles towards what might quite literally be its final destination?

Playing out across six 60-minute episodes, the show comes from Euston Films (Wreck).

Nick Leather says “I couldn’t be more excited to work with Euston Films and the BBC to drive the engine of this real-time thriller and take our audience along for a ride full of personal intrigue, political manoeuvring and danger. By the time dawn breaks at the end of this journey, no-one involved will ever be the same again”.

Nightsleeper is heading for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Euston Films’ Managing Directors Kate Harwood and Noemi Spanos will executive produce with Nick Leather, and Gaynor Holmes (BBC). The producer is Jonathan Curling (Baghdad Central).

We’ll keep you posted.