James Graham returning to his roots with Nottinghamshire crime drama

Playwright and dramatist James Graham will return to his roots for a six-part crime thriller set in Nottinghamshire.

Titled Sherwood, the BBC One series will be set in the post-industrial mining village in which he grew up and draw on his childhood experiences.

It will see two “shocking and unexpected murders” shatter an already fractured community leading to “one of the largest manhunts in British history”.

Boris Johnson becomes PM
Boris Johnson becomes PM

To solve the murders, police inspectors Ian St Clair, from the local constabulary, and Kevin Salisbury from the Met, must reunite and bury a rivalry that stretches back to 1984.

Three decades on from the miners’ strike, the investigation will uncover old wounds.

Graham, 38, whose theatre credits include Ink, This House and The Vote, is once again teaming up with House Productions, with whom he made the Emmy and Bafta nominated TV drama Brexit: The Uncivil War, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings.

Filming will begin later in 2021 in Nottinghamshire and casting details will be released closer to the start of production.

Graham said: “It means the world to have this opportunity to bring the voices of a community I grew up in to BBC One.

“So much is spoken about the divisions and difficulties in these ‘Red Wall’ towns, but they’re not always understood.

“I feel so honoured to be able to tell a fictionalised story about a very real trauma, but with the humour and heart and resilience of the people I know and love there.”

Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross, executive producers for House Productions, said: “James has written an extraordinarily powerful drama, which has immense heart, wit and humanity – and, as ever with his writing, it’s a pertinent piece for our times.”

Piers Wenger, director of BBC drama, said: “In blending real and fictional events, James has created a penetrating, heartfelt and purposeful thriller which exposes the tensions and fault lines at the heart of modern Britain.

“Sherwood is set to be an exceptional series by one of our greatest dramatists and we are proud to be bringing it to BBC One.”

Graham has written all six parts and will be an executive producer on the series.

Lewis Arnold, who worked on Des starring David Tennant, is lead director and an executive producer, and the producer is Rebecca Hodgson.