BBC First’s first local commission, Banished, will air on the channel from Thursday June 25 at 8.30pm, starting with a double episode.
The epic seven-part series from award-winning writer/creator Jimmy McGovern (story producer Redfern Now) was co-commissioned with BBC Two and recently screened in the UK, becoming the fifth highest rating drama series to be shown on BBC Two in the last decade, with a series average of 3.2 million viewers.
Loosely inspired by events in the 18th century when Britain established a penal colony on the other side of the world, Banished stars David Wenham (Top of the Lake), Ryan Corr (The Water Diviner), Russell Tovey (Being Human), Myanna Buring (Ripper Street) and Julian Rhind–Tutt (The Hour). The ambitious series charts the lives, loves and battle for survival of a group of convicts, the marines that guard them and men who govern them in the early days of this settlement.
The series is co-produced by international award-winning independent production companies RSJ Films (Accused, The Street) and See-Saw Films (Top Of The Lake, The King’s Speech, Shame) and was filmed in and around Sydney in Australia and Manchester in the UK with Manly Dam as the setting for the main camp.
David Wenham plays Governor Arthur Phillip a pragmatic idealist who hopes to turn this ramshackle settlement from penal colony to land of opportunity for all, while his nemesis Major Ross played by Joseph Millson thinks the only chance of survival is to rule with an iron fist. All that seems unshakeable are the passionate bonds of love and friendship forged between convicts: Elizabeth Quinn (Myanna Buring), Tommy Barrett (Julian Rhind–Tutt) and James Freeman (Russell Tovey). But before long this shared devotion is destined to challenge the very doctrines on which the fledging colony has been founded.
Tim Christlieb, acting director of television, BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, said: “We are very excited to be bringing BBC First’s first local commission to Australian audiences. It has been a huge ratings success in the UK and in keeping with the ambition we have for the channel is a genuine blockbuster with a fantastic cast. Set over a couple of weeks in the early days of the British settlement it’s a fast-paced story that will bring home the terrible choices faced by those battling to establish the colony.”
Source: BBC Worldwide