BBC 2 has announced Stephen Poliakoff’s new six-part drama Close To The Enemy and revealed a stellar cast for the Cold War drama set in a bomb-damaged London hotel in the aftermath of World War II. Jim Sturgess (One Day) plays an intelligence officer whose last task for the Army is to ensure that a captured German scientist, played by August Diehl (Inglorious Basterds), starts working for the British RAF on urgently developing the jet engine. Other cast members include Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders), Alfie Allen (Game Of Thrones), Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall), Angela Bassett (American Horror Story) and Alfred Molina (Love Is Strange).

The drama is written and directed by Poliakoff (Dancing On The Edge, Glorious 39, Gideon’s Daughter). Helen Flint and Hilary Bevan Jones (Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot) are on board as exec producers. It will film in Liverpool and London and air in 2016.

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,” said producer Helen Flint, a longtime collaborator with Poliakoff on dramas such as Shooting The Past and Perfect Strangers. “As the Cold War takes its hold in Europe and the public realization that the atom bomb could be used by any government, our hero Callum (Sturgess) passionately believes that to safeguard the future you mustn’t heed the past regardless of how terrible it has been.”

The project was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, the outgoing controller of BBC Drama Commissioning set to join JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot, and Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two. Filming has begun on Little Island Productions’ period drama, produced in association with Endor Productions. It is being produced in association with All3media International.