Kenneth Branagh will play Boris Johnson in This Sceptred Isle a limited five-part drama charting the events of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK
Sky has announced a new limited drama series, which will air on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV. It’s being made by Freemantle, Passenger and Revolution Films. BAFTA and Emmy award-winning actor Kenneth Branagh will play Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The five-part drama will chart the events surrounding the Prime Minister, the government, and the country in the face of the first wave of the global pandemic. We first reported on this back in June, though no casting was available at that time.
This Sceptred Isle will tell the tale of some of the most devastating events to ever befall the United Kingdom, and of a Prime Minister leading in these unprecedented times. The drama will trace the impact on Britain from this once in a generation pandemic, and the response of scientists, nurses, and doctors as they worked tirelessly and heroically to contain and overcome the virus. It is based on the first-hand testimony of people from all walks of life; from Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and from hospitals and care homes across the country.
Michael Winterbottom has co-written the series with Kieron Quirke, and will direct all five episodes. Tim Shipman, political editor of The Sunday Times, is acting as a consultant on the series. This Sceptred Isle is the first project to emerge from a multi-year first look deal for scripted drama series struck by Fremantle and Passenger with Revolution Films.
Winterbottom has a track record of making factual based dramas including the award-winning films Welcome to Sarajevo, A Mighty Heart, 24 Hour Party People and The Road to Guantanamo.
Our reaction to all this is Coronavirus is clearly something for future drama and documentary, though we note we are still in the midst of events — we wonder just how appropriate the timing is, and what conclusions can be drawn at this stage, if any.
You can read the latest Sky press release here.