Maxine Peake and John Simm to star in new BBC One drama ‘The Village’

‘The Village,’ new epic drama series for BBC One from Peter Moffat

BBC One announces new six-part drama ‘The Village‘ starring Maxine Peake and John Simm and written by Bafta-winning writer Peter Moffat (Silk, Criminal Justice), about the life and turbulent times of one English village across the whole of the 20th century.

The series begins in 1914. Young Bert Middleton (introducing Bill Jones) is growing up in extreme poverty on a family farm in Derbyshire. His parents John (John SimmState of Play, The Devil’s Whore) and Grace (Maxine PeakeSilk, Criminal Justice) struggle to provide for Bert and his adored older brother Joe (Nico MirallegroUpstairs Downstairs). John is proud, unyielding and haunted by his past. Grace devotes her life to protecting her sons from the violence of his despair. Is her sacrifice sustainable? Is John capable of redemption? Will Bert’s funny, gentle ways and rich imagination survive? Joe supplements the family income by working at the Big House, where he comes into contact with the troubled and deeply unstable Caro (Emily BeechamThe Runaway).

The first episode opens with the arrival of the first bus ever to stop in the village. Everyone gathers to see it and off the bus steps the beautiful, headstrong Martha Lane (Charlie MurphyMisfits).

Jim Cartwright (writer of Road and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice) plays Peter Baslow, the Landlord of the village pub. Other cast includes: Anthony Flanagan (Being Human), Annabelle Apsion (Shameless), Joe Armstrong (Robin Hood), Matt Stokoe (Misfits), Augustus Prew (The Borgias) and Stephen Walters (The 51st State).

John Simm says: “I’m delighted to be working with such a great director (Antonia Bird) and brilliant writer in Peter – I’ve long been a fan of both, alongside such a great cast”.

Maxine Peake says: “Beautiful writing – a period piece when we’re not focusing on the decision makers but the working people, it is so great to see the other side – changes within a chain of social and political life, in minutiae. My character, Grace channels all her energy into her family with a focus on ambition and the idea of freedom for her sons. Women moving into the workplace as the men went to fight and finding independence”.

Made by Company Pictures (The White Queen, Shameless), ‘The Village‘ is directed by Antonia Bird (A Passionate Woman, Spooks) and Gillies Mackinnon (Inspector George Gently, Hideous Kinky). The series is produced by Ema Burge (Shameless, Painted Lady) Executive Producers are: John Griffin, George Faber, Charles Pattinson for Company Pictures, Polly Hill for the BBC and Peter Moffat.

‘The Village’ will film on location in the Peak District, and air on BBC One in 2013.