ITV logoSet in 1940, eight-part period drama The Halcyon tells the story of a “bustling and glamorous” five-star hotel at the center of London society and a world at war. The drama has been ordered by ITV just as the broadcaster’s flagship period series, Downton Abbey, is set to shutter its doors on Christmas Day. Created by Charlotte Jones (Trust Me), The Halcyon will be made by Left Bank Pictures (Wallander), exec produced by Sharon Hughff (Strike Back) and produced by Downton Abbey‘s Chris Croucher.

The Halcyon will reveal London life against the backdrop of war and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across every social strata. Sharing something in common with another ITV period drama, Mr Selfridge, the story will prominently feature an American as it unspools through the eyes of visitng journalist Joe O’Hara.

Taking a page out of Dickens, The Halcyon will kick off with the line: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Shooting starts in and around London from April to air in 2017.

ITV Director of Drama Steve November says, “A hotel is the perfect place to show ambition in telling the story of World War II. It was an extraordinary time in our country’s history, and London was a transforming city. The Halcyon takes us right to the heart of this as the hotel is busy, energetic, and vibrant which reflects how people carried on with their lives with defiance in the air.”