BBC1 controller Danny Cohen has commissioned his first dramas since taking up the post in October last year, including a new series from Upstairs Downstairs writer Heidi Thomas, an adaptation of Great Expectations and a spy drama from Kudos Film and Television, which makes Spooks.
Cohen said he hoped the commissions “begin to express the range and creative ambition we want BBC1 drama to capture in the coming years”.
“There are great opportunities here for new writers, as well as a new commitment to blue-collar drama, and classic period pieces,” he added.
Thomas’ new six-part drama is Call the Midwife, and is an adaptation of Jennifer Worth’s memoir, which looks at midwifery in the east end of London in the fifties, while Kudos’ drama is called Morton. This eight-part show has been written by Frank Spotnitz.
Meanwhile, Great Expectations is a three-part series, adapted from Charles Dickens’ book by Sarah Phelps and made by the BBC. Phelps adapted Oliver Twist in 2007.
The final two new dramas announced by Cohen are One Night, written by Paul Smith, and Bound, a six-part series from Julie Geary, which is being made by Tiger Aspect.