Channel 4 commissions Jack Thorne's new 4-part series The Light (w/t)
BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne (National Treasure, Kiri, Cast Offs) will return with the third in his trilogy of compelling, penetrating and timely 4-part dramas for Channel 4. The Light (w/t) will look at disability and focus on the repercussions of a catastrophic disaster that befalls a community in a small Welsh town which has seen more prosperous times.
The disaster claims the lives of many, children included and, as personal and communal grief gives way to a torrent of anger and blame, the community finds itself torn apart.
The Light (w/t) will explore the complex web of decisions and circumstances, both political and personal, that led to the fatal event. The community feels powerless in the face of seemingly inexorable political and business forces but the drama asks to what extent they are complicit in their own fate.
Like Kiri and National Treasure, the drama will look at how the media spotlight in the wake of such a disaster can affect a community. And if National Treasure was about shame and Kiri was about blame, The Light (w/t) will be about justice and will focus on the repercussions of a catastrophic disaster that befalls a community in a small Welsh town which has seen more prosperous times. It will also take a searching look at our attitudes to disability in the wake of the tragedy.
Beth Willis, Head of Drama at Channel 4, says: "We are delighted to be working once more with the immensely talented Jack Thorne. Jack has a singular ability to explore some of the most complex and challenging topics facing modern Britain today with warmth and empathy, and also with sharp insight and fearless scrutiny. The Light (w/t) promises to be another powerful examination of guilt, blame, responsibility and culpability."
Jack Thorne, writer, says: "I cannot believe Channel 4 has afforded us this opportunity. At the beginning of National Treasure we started talking about the possibilities of a trilogy which peeked behind the curtains of this country and tried to ask difficult questions about who we are and how the media paints us. I am so delighted we are going to get to finish that trilogy off. I've loved working with Beth, Channel 4 and The Forge on this."
George Ormond, Executive Producer, says: "Jack's a thrilling writer to work with not only because of his ability to put his finger on the pulse of what is worrying us as a nation, but because he manages to do so with characters that take our breath away, make us laugh, and then leave us wrung dry as we travel with them through the story. We're over the moon to be getting the chance to complete the trilogy with The Light (w/t)."
The Light (w/t) follows the hugely successful series National Treasure and Kiri. Consolidated viewing figures make Kiri Channel 4's most-watched drama since modern records began, with an average of nearly 5 million viewers and an audience share of 18.7%. It is also the biggest ever drama series on All 4. It has been described as "riveting [and] complex" (Daily Telegraph), "another masterclass" (The Times) and "utterly enthralling" (The Observer). National Treasure averaged 3.7 million viewers across the series, more than doubling the slot average. The series also won 3 BAFTA awards, including Best Mini-Series and Best Director, and 2 RTS Awards for Best Mini-Series and Best Actor. The series was hailed as a "landmark drama" (Daily Telegraph), "brilliant" (The Guardian) and "extraordinarily brave television" (The Times).
The Light (4 X '60) is commissioned for Channel 4 by Beth Willis, Head of Drama. Jonny Richards and Chloe Tucker will be Commissioning Executives. The series will be produced by The Forge, in association with Hulu in the U.S. Shooting is expected to begin in 2019, with the series airing later that year on Channel 4. George Ormond (National Treasure, Ackley Bridge, Kiri, Great Expectations) and George Faber (Shameless, National Treasure, The Devil's Whore, Skins, Kiri) are Executive Producers. The Forge's production credits include National Treasure (C4/Hulu) and Kiri (C4/Hulu), both written by Jack Thorne; Ackley Bridge (C4); The Last Post (BBC1/Amazon), written by Peter Moffat (co-produced with Bonafide Films); The Miniaturist (BBC1/WGBH), written by John Brownlow and Collateral (BBC2/Netflix) from writer David Hare. The company's most recent green light is DARK MONEY by Levi David Addai for the BBC. Following success in the U.S., Peabody Award-winning National Treasure and National Treasure: Kiri, The Light (w/t) will also premiere exclusively in the U.S. as part of Hulu's award-winning original slate. all3media International is The Forge's international partner on The Light and will handle its global sales.
The Light (w/t) is written by Jack Thorne, whose previous credits include National Treasure and Kiri (Channel 4) Glue (E4), The Fades (BBC3), This is England '86, '88, '90 (Channel 4) and The Last Panthers (Sky). He has also written Hope and Let the Right One In for The Royal Court Theatre as well as the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for London's West End and The Solid Life of Sugar Water for the National Theatre.