Cast announced for new BBC2 Stephen Poliakoff drama Close To The Enemy

Jim Sturgess, Alfred Molina among all-star cast

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Filming has commenced on BBC Two’s new six-part period drama Close To The Enemy, from multi-award-winning writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (Dancing On The Edge).

Jim Sturgess (One Day) heads a stellar cast including Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders), Phoebe Fox (Woman in Black 2), August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds), Robert Glenister (Hustle), Alfie Allen (Game Of Thrones), Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall), Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), Lindsay Duncan (Birdman), and Alfred Molina (Love Is Strange).

Close To The Enemy, set in a bomb-damaged London hotel in the aftermath of the Second World War, follows intelligence officer Captain Callum Ferguson (Sturgess), whose last task for the Army is to ensure that a captured German scientist, Dieter (Diehl), starts working for the British RAF on urgently developing the jet engine. With the background of the emerging Cold War, it is clear to all that it’s crucial for British national security that cutting-edge technology is made available to the armed forces as quickly as possible. Callum uses unorthodox methods in his attempt to convince Dieter to work with the British and eventually a friendship develops between the two men, but soon tensions arise as all is not as it seems.

Over the course of the series, Callum encounters a number of other characters whose stories all intertwine. These characters include Victor (Highmore), Callum’s younger brother, struggling to deal with psychological trauma caused by his experience in the fighting; Harold (Molina), a Foreign Office official who reveals some startling truths about the outbreak of the war; Rachel (Riley), an enchanting Anglophile American engaged to his best friend; and Kathy (Fox), a tough young woman working for the War Crimes Unit, fighting to bring war criminals who escaped prosecution to justice. All these characters are trying to rebuild and move their lives forward in the aftermath of the war, a war that scarred them all so deeply.

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “With Stephen’s usual flair and attention to detail, Close To The Enemy is a hugely compelling drama which shines a light on a fascinating piece of British history. An amazing cast, wonderful design and original music will create an unmissable new period drama for BBC Two.”

Producer Helen Flint, says: “Close To The Enemy is set in the transitional period of 1946 – the brutal second World War is finally over but the destruction of families and cities permeates everyone’s lives. As the Cold War takes its hold in Europe and the public realisation that the atom bomb could be used by any government, our hero Callum (Jim Sturgess) passionately believes that to safeguard the future you mustn’t heed the past regardless of how terrible it has been. However, as the story unfolds, he finds that he is compelled to look backwards and eventually realises that you have to judge (for good or ill) those voluntarily or involuntarily involved in order to actually have a safer world.”

Close To The Enemy will film in and around Liverpool and London until summer 2015, for transmission on BBC Two in 2016.