2017 Television

Daniel Mays To Star In BBC Two’s ‘Against the Law’

Daniel Mays is to star in BBC Two’s Against the Law directed by Fergus O’Brien.


Daniel Mays (Line Of Duty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Public Enemies) stars in BBC Two’s powerful factual drama as Peter Wildeblood, a thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover Eddie McNally (played by newcomer to television, Richard Gadd), under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu Trial.

More than ten years before the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in 1967, Peter Wildeblood, and his friends Lord Montagu (Mark Edel-Hunt) and Michael Pitt-Rivers, were found guilty of homosexual offences and jailed.

With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the way these draconian laws against homosexuality impacted on the lives of men like him.

Daniel says: “I’m incredibly proud to be part of a drama that tells such an important real-life story. Peter Wildeblood is a fascinating, complex, yet flawed character from a time when being a gay man in Britain was incredibly difficult – I can’t wait to bring his tale to life for the BBC Two audience.”

Patrick Holland, Channel Editor, BBC Two, said: “50 years ago, it was a crime to be a gay man in the UK. Against The Law is a stunning piece that melds drama and documentary testimony to tell the story of one man, and his wider generation, as they struggled to make society accept their sexuality as non-criminal. It is brilliant to have a film that brings the authorship of Brian Fillis, the vision of director Fergus O’Brien, and the outstanding talent of Daniel Mays and cast to this important subject”

The drama also features Mark Gatiss (Taboo, Sherlock) as Wildeblood’s prison psychiatrist, Doctor Landers and Charlie Creed-Miles (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) as Superintendent Jones.

Woven through this powerful drama is real-life testimony from a chorus of men who lived through those dark days, when homosexuals were routinely imprisoned or forced to undergo chemical aversion therapy in an attempt to cure them of their “condition”. There is also testimony from a retired police officer whose job it was to enforce these laws, and a former psychiatric nurse who administered the so-called cures. All of these accounts serve to amplify the themes of the drama and help to immerse us in the reality of a dark chapter in our recent past, a past still within the reach of living memory.

Written by Brian Fillis, Against the Law is directed by Fergus O’Brien, produced by Scott James Bassett and executive produced by Aysha Rafaele, Creative Director of The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios.

Made by BBC Studios, Against the Law will broadcast on BBC Two later in the year.

Against the Law will have its  world premiere at the opening night gala for BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival on Thursday 16 March 2017. Public tickets to the film festival will be available 22 February. 

Updated 9 February 2017 with BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival information.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Daniel Mays joins the cast of Channel 4’s “Born To Kill”

We are happy to announce that  Daniel Mays has joined the cast of Channel 4’s psychological thriller Born to Kill.

Born to Kill is Channel 4’s intense and powerful four-part psychological thriller, the first commission for female writing duo Tracey Malone (Silent Witness) and first time TV writer Kate Ashfield (Shaun of the Dead), from Line of Duty producers World Productions.

Born to Kill, Channel 4’s intense new psychological thriller from Line of Duty producers World Productions has started filming in Cardiff, Wales. Starring Romola Garai (The Hour, Suffragette) and Daniel Mays (Made in Dagenham, Line of Duty, Rogue One: A Star Wars story,) as the single parents of two out-of-control teens, Born to Kill is the first commission for female writing duo Tracey Malone (Rillington Place) and first time TV writer and BIFA-nominated actress Kate Ashfield.

The four-part thriller is a haunting exploration of the mind of Sam, played by newcomer Jack Rowan, a teenager who’s on the verge of acting out hidden psychopathic desires. He lives with his protective mum Jenny (Romola Garai), a geriatric nurse, and thinks his dad died in a car crash…

While working at the local hospital, Jenny meets the charming Bill (Daniel Mays). New to town with his moody teenage daughter Chrissy, played by rising star Lara Peake, Bill’s trying to reconnect with his elderly mother Margaret (Elizabeth Counsell, Song For Marion). Just as Jenny and Bill start to hit it off, their kids meet at school and also form an instant attraction. Sam feels like he’s finally met someone that he can relate to, but does she really share his desire… to kill?

At the same time, Jenny learns that her ex, Sam’s dad, a violent man named Peter (Richard Coyle, The Fall), is nearing his parole date. Jenny must now face telling her son that not only is his father alive, he’s also a convicted murderer.

As this menacing four-part drama unfolds, decades of deceit unravels as Jenny, Sam and Peter’s long buried past comes back to haunt the fractured family. Will Jenny discover, despite her best efforts, that Sam and his dad are more alike than she could have ever imagined?

Simon Maxwell, Head of International Drama at Channel 4 said: “Born to Kill expertly combines the psychological thriller and coming-of-age drama to take us into the terrifying world of its young protagonist and offer us a unique insight into the genesis of one young man’s psychopathy.

It’s a testament to the quality of Kate and Tracey’s scripts that they’ve attracted such a stellar cast, from established stars Romola Garai and Daniel Mays to stars-in-the-making Jack Rowan and Lara Peake. We’re thrilled to be working with World on this brave new show.”

Jake Lushington, Executive Producer for World Productions, said: “Channel 4 is always prepared to test the limits of drama and dig deeper into the psychology of the characters that inhabit them. World Productions is thrilled they have commissioned Born To Kill, a chilling, heart-breaking story that isn’t afraid to put the audience inside the mind of a disturbed and terrifying teenager.”

Born to Kill is executive produced by Jake Lushington (The Devil’s Whore) for World Productions and commissioned for Channel 4 by Head of Drama Beth Willis and Head of International Drama Simon Maxwell. The 4 X 60’ mini-series is currently filming in Wales and is due to air on Channel 4 in 2017.

 

We will have more updates on this project in the near future.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk