BBC1 in the UK has ordered two dramas including a show described as a multi-stranded, international thriller based on a novel by Sarah Lotz.
The Three (8×60’) is being produced by UK prodco The Forge and is based on Lotz’s eponymous book, which follows an investigator who is exploring how three children from the US, the UK and Japan survived four deadly plane crashes that occurred on the same day.
It’s being adapted by Wolf Hall’s Peter Straughan and will be executive produced by Kate Sinclair and George Faber for The Forge, and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC.
Straughan said the show would explore “how fear and paranoia can affect society on a global level, while interrogating the effects of trauma on ordinary lives.”
Meanwhile The Serpent (8×60’) is from Poldark producer Mammoth Screen and is being written by Ripper Street’s Richard Warlow and directed by The Missing’s Tom Shankland.
The duo executive produce with Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, and Kilgarriff for the BBC.
The show is based on the true story of how serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who murdered backpackers across Asia, was finally caught and brought to trial.
Both shows have been commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content.
Wenger said the dramas highlighted his ambition “to deliver original, bold and unexpected drama to BBC1, drama that is set apart from what is on offer elsewhere and which allows us to explore new worlds.
“These two new series do just that, each offering a big emotional story in an international setting with iconic characters at their heart.”
Warlow added: “I don’t think I could ever invent the corrupt magnetism of Sobhraj’s evil charisma, nor the everyman’s decency with which Knippenberg – now our friend and collaborator – brought some measure of justice to those who went to seek new horizons but never returned.”
Preethi Mavahalli, exec producer at Mammoth, said the company had spent several years researching and collecting first-hand testimony of survivors to tell the story.
The dramas are the latest to be added to BBC’s slate by Wenger, who joined the BBC from Channel 4 last year.
Others include Giri/Haji, an eight-part series about a Tokyo detective who travels to London in search of his wayward younger brother, which is being produced for Netflix outside of the UK.
Also on BBC1’s slate is the first UK TV adaptation of HG Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The 3×60′ miniseries is being produced by Mammoth and has been written by Doctor Who’s Peter Harness.