Starz has acquired exclusive U.S. premium rights to Close To The Enemy, a six-episode original miniseries written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff (Dancing On The Edge) with Helen Flint (Longford), Hilary Bevan Jones (Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot) and Colin Callender (Wolf Hall) serving as executive producers. It’s slated to premiere on BBC Two in the UK and Starz in the U.S. in 2016.
Set in a bomb-damaged London hotel during the aftermath of World War II, thriller Close To The Enemy stars Jim Sturgess (One Day) as British intelligence officer Captain Callum Ferguson, whose last task for the Army is to ensure that a captured German scientist, Dieter (August Diehl, Inglourious Basterds), hands over secret cutting-edge military technology crucial to national security. Callum employs unorthodox methods in his attempt to convince Dieter to work for the British, developing a friendship with him, which is soon threatened as the German’s involvement in the Nazi war machine may be more than it initially seems.
In the tradition of Poliakoff’s other work, Callum encounters a number of other characters whose stories all intertwine. They include Victor (Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel), Callum’s younger brother, struggling to deal with psychological trauma caused by his experiences on the frontlines; Harold (Alfred Molina, Love Is Strange), a Foreign Office official who reveals some startling truths about the outbreak of the war; Rachel (Charlotte Riley, Peaky Blinders), an enchanting Anglophile American engaged to his best friend; Eva (Angela Bassett, American Horror Story), a confident American jazz singer who breathes life into the old hotel with her music; and Kathy (Phoebe Fox, Woman In Black 2), a tough, young woman working for the War Crimes Unit, fighting to bring war criminals who escaped prosecution to justice.
Close To The Enemy is a Little Island production produced in association with Endor Productions and Playground Entertainment and distributed by all3media International.
“We are excited to team up with Little Island, Endor Productions, Playground Entertainment, all3media International and Stephen Poliakoff again as he brings this post-World War II thriller to life in a way our viewers will find extremely compelling,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz.
“We are delighted to announce another significant collaboration with Starz who will release ‘Close to the Enemy’ to their U.S. subscribers in 2016,” said Stephen Driscoll, SVP Sales, all3media International. Stephen Poliakoff and this wonderful cast of actors are creating a thrilling mini-series that will enthrall audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. We look forward to announcing further international deals in the very near future.”
Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, added, “It is wonderful to welcome Starz and Playground on board. The combination of such talented producers with first-rate track records will ensure audiences from around the globe can enjoy Poliakoff’s truly original and compelling new drama series.”