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New dramas for BBC 1

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608Our Zoo, Poldark, Dickensian and From There To Here mark Danny Cohen’s last four drama commissions as the Controller of BBC One.

Danny Cohen, the new Director of BBC Television says: “It has been a joy and privilege to commission programmes for BBC One. I hope audiences enjoy the range and creative ambitions of these new dramas for the channel.”

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning adds: “An exciting clutch of authored drama for BBC One – Debbie Horsfield richly reimagines a literary saga, a beautiful new drama series from award-winning playwright Matt Charman, Peter Bowker returning to BBC One for his first drama since Occupation, and Tony Jordan’s ambitious multi-part, multi-series ‘world of Dickens’ drama.”

All four dramas detailed below were commissioned by Danny Cohen and Ben Stephenson.

Our Zoo

6 x 60 minutes, written by Matt Charman and made by Big Talk Productions and Aenon.

This is the incredible true story of the man who created Chester Zoo in the 1930s and the impact it had on his family.

Executive Producers are Luke Alkin, Adam Kemp and Kenton Allen for Big Talk and Matthew Read for the BBC.


6 x 60 minutes, adapted by Debbie Horsfield and made by Mammoth Screen.

An adaptation of Winston Graham’s acclaimed romantic saga set in late-18th-century Cornwall. Ross Poldark returns home from war, looking forward to a joyful reunion with his family and his beloved Elizabeth. Instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth, believing Ross dead, is engaged to his cousin. Ross must start from scratch, forging a completely new path for his life – one that takes him in exciting, unexpected and hazardous directions.

Executive producers are Debbie Horsfield, Rebecca Keane, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer for Mammoth, and Polly Hill for the BBC.


Written by Tony Jordan and made by Red Planet Pictures.

Tony Jordan’s multi-part series told over half-hour installments will bring the world of Dickens to life in a drama populated by the vivid characters from his classic books, who will meet one other in the most surprising of ways.

Number of episodes to be confirmed.

Executive producer is Tony Jordan for Red Planet Pictures and Polly Hill for the BBC.

From There to Here

3 x 60 minutes, written by Peter Bowker and made by Kudos Film and Television.

In the aftermath of the Arndale bombing, a Manchester family man is torn between the life he wants and the life he could have. This is a funny, characterful and moving drama about a man whose life is rocked to the core – a family saga which begins in Manchester in the summer of 1996, on the day when an IRA bomb exploded in the city centre. Against the feel-good backdrop of Euro 96, it maps the emotional shockwaves generated by that bomb in the lives of two parallel families from different sides of the tracks.

Executive producer is Derek Wax for Kudos and Stephen Wright for the BBC.

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