The BBC has enlisted At Home With the Braithwaites writer Sally Wainwright to lead a creative overhaul of its family drama series Robin Hood.
Wainwright, whose other credits include The Amazing Mrs Pritchard and ITV’s new drama Unforgiven, told The Stage she had been asked by both the BBC and the show’s production company, Tiger Aspect, to act as a showrunner on all series following the third outing of the Saturday night drama, due to be screened in the spring.
She said her role would be similar to that of Russell T Davies on Doctor Who, meaning she is the lead creative force on the series and responsible for overseeing its writing team.
The writer promised her Robin Hood would be “very different” from previous outings.
“The BBC has asked me to take over Robin Hood in a way Russell does on Doctor Who. They have a third series going out in the spring which I have had nothing to do with, but they have asked me to reinvent it and they want it to be very different, which is why they have come to me. It’s going to be a completely different show,” Wainwright said.
She added: “I want to model Robin Hood more on Doctor Who, in terms of quality of script and quality of direction.”
Wainwright said she had been approached after submitting an idea for a 13-part Saturday night family show to the BBC called The Ballad of Black Nell, which was never commissioned.
She said Robin Hood as a character would return, despite the fact that the actor who is currently playing him – Jonas Armstrong – has announced he is to leave after the third series.
The writer said she had enjoyed working on ideas for the fourth series, which has not yet been commissioned by the BBC, and added: “It’s fun because it’s completely different from Unforgiven. I hope like Braithwaites it will be as funny as it is tragic at times. It will be layered, have depth and a lot going on in it.”
A spokesman for the BBC said Wainwright had been asked by both the Corporation and Tiger Aspect to work on Robin Hood, but confirmed that a fourth series of the show had yet to be commissioned.