0 3 mins 9 yrs

Stephen Knight drama gets underway.


© Rex

BBC One has announced the cast of Steven Knight‘s (Peaky Blinders, Locke) major new eight-part drama, Taboo, starring Tom Hardy (Legend, Peaky Blinders).

Taboo is based on an original story by Tom and his father, Chips Hardy (who is also the show’s consulting producer) – and will see Tom star as James Keziah Delaney who returns to 1814 London after 10 years in Africa to discover that he has been left a mysterious legacy by his father. Driven to wage war on those who have wronged him, Delaney finds himself in a face-off against the East India Company, while playing a dangerous game between two warring nations – Britain and America.

Alongside Hardy, the cast also stars Michael Kelly (House of Cards), who plays American doctor Dumbarton, Jonathan Pryce (Brazil) as Sir Stuart Strange, the head of the East India Company and Delaney’s nemesis, Oona Chaplin (The Crimson Field) as Zilpha Geary James’s half-sister, and David Hayman (Macbeth) as Brace, Delaney’s trusted man-servant.

Jessie Buckley (Shades of Love) plays Lorna Bow who lays claim to James’s father’s will. Ashley Walters (Bullet Boy) is a dangerous face from James’s years in Africa. Jefferson Hall (Our World War) plays Thorne Geary, Zilpha’s husband; Ed Hogg (Anonymous) is Godfrey, Delaney’s cross-dressing spy inside the East India Company, Leo Bill (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is Wilton, Strange’s fashionable, amoral accomplice; Christopher Fairbank (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Ibbotson, a man to whom James is indebted; Richard Dixon (The King’s Speech) is Pettifer, Strange’s right-hand man; Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies) is Solomon Coop, the Prince Regent’s right-hand man and Spy Master; and Nicholas Woodeson (The Living and the Dead) is lawyer Thoyt, the Delaney family’s former lawyer.

Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama commissioning says: “The talent on- and off-screen is incredible and I am so excited to see Steve’s captivating scripts come to life. Tom Hardy and the rest of the cast are set to bring this original and spectacular story to life in a unique and epic way.”

Taboo is created and directed by Kristoffer Nyholm (The Killing, The Enfield Haunting), and produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London and Tom Hardy’s Hardy Son & Baker for BBC One and FX.

Taboo begins filming in London this week (Nov).