Annex Films director Susanna White has just finished filming Mammoth Screen's epic BBC Two drama and HBO miniseries Parade's End which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, War Horse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town, The Awakening) and heralds the return of Sir Tom Stoppard to British television.
Parade's End is a flagship five-part drama adapted by internationally acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard (Brazil, Empire of the Sun, Shakespeare in Love) from a quartet of novels by Ford Madox Ford, considered by many to be one of the literary masterworks of the 20th Century. It is directed by multi Emmy-nominated and Bafta award-winning film maker Susanna White (Generation Kill, Bleak House, Jane Eyre, Boardwalk Empire, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang).
Parade's End is set during a formative period of British history – from the twilight years of the Edwardian era to the end of the First World War. At its centre is English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch), his beautiful but wilful wife Sylvia (Hall), and Valentine Wannop, a young suffragette, played by Logie-nominated actress Adelaide Clemens (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Generation Um, Camilla Dickenson).
Filming took place across the UK and Belgium with a supporting cast including such acting luminaries as Roger Allam (The Queen, The Woman in Black) Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen, Nowhere Boy), Rupert Everett (The Importance of Being Earnest, Hysteria), Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Clare Higgins (A Fantastic Fear of Everything, The Golden Compass), Janet McTeer (The Woman in Black, Albert Nobbs) and Miranda Richardson (Made in Dagenham, The Lost Prince).
Also starring are Freddie Fox (The Shadow Line), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Tom Mison (One Day), Geoffrey Palmer (The Lost Christmas), Jamie Parker (The Hour) and Steven Robertson (Red Riding).
Ben Stephenson, controller, BBC Drama Commissioning commented during filming saying: "It's great to be working with HBO again on this ambitious project which further demonstrates BBC Two's ongoing commitment to original British drama in 2012. The stellar cast assembled simply confirms the buzz and excitement around Sir Tom Stoppard's return to British television."
Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries says: “The marriage of Tom Stoppard’s extraordinary scripts and Susanna White’s singular cinematic vision presented us with an irresistible opportunity. As we find ourselves approaching the centennial of World War I, this work will resonate with contemporary audiences as a touchstone for the human effects of global social transformation.”
Parade's End was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning. It will join a raft of new drama series on the channel including Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty, Paula Milne's White Heat, Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing On The Edge, and a major new cycle of Shakespeare's four most acclaimed historical works as part of a season based on the Bard's life and works.
Parade's End is produced by Oscar and Bafta-winning David Parfitt (The Madness of King George, Shakespeare in Love, My Week with Marilyn) and twice Bafta-winning Selwyn Roberts (Longitude, Shackleton). Michele Buck, Damien Timmer and Tom Stoppard are executive producers for Mammoth Screen, Piers Wenger for the BBC.
It is a Mammoth Screen production for the BBC in association with HBO Miniseries and Trademark Films and BBC Worldwide and Lookout Point co-produced with BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund and Anchorage Entertainment and was filmed with the support of the Belgian federal government's Tax Shelter scheme.
Mammoth Screen was formed in 2007 by joint Managing Directors Michele Buck and Damien Timmer. The company is now one of the leading independent production companies in the UK supplying prime time quality programming to all of the major UK broadcasters. Currently in production is Parade’s End written by Sir Tom Stoppard for BBC2 / HBO, Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour and a second series of Monroe for ITV1.
Look out for Parade's End this Friday at 9pm on BBC2.