EXCLUSIVE: Trainspotting and Once Upon A Time star Robert Carlyle and The Crown’s Victoria Hamilton are to star in a British political drama for Sky. Catherine The Great producer New Pictures is making six-part series Cobra about what happens in the corridors of power during a time of national emergency. Pretty good timing given what’s going on with Brexit.
Carlyle stars as British Prime Minister Robert Sutherland, while Hamilton plays his Chief of Staff Anna Marshall. Game of Thrones’ Richard Dormer plays as Fraser Walker, the Head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Killing Eve’s David Haig stars as Home Secretary Archie Glover-Morgan, Better Things’ Marsha Thomason stars as Francine Bridge MP and Broadchurch’s Lucy Cohu plays the Prime Minister’s wife Rachel Sutherland.
The series, which has begun production ahead of a fall launch, deals with an unfolding national emergency that threatens to engulf the country as the COBRA committee, a team comprised of Britain’s leading experts, crisis contingency planners and most senior politicians fights to ensure the protection of the British people. The Prime Minister and his Chief of Staff must contend with impossible political decisions, whilst also wrestling with ferociously pressured personal lives. Not only do they bear the weight of public expectation and their family’s needs; they must also be mindful of their political opponents who will use any sign of weakness as an opportunity to strike.
Cobra was written by The Tunnel Sabotage and Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling writer Ben Richards and is produced by All3Media-owned New Pictures, which is behind Starz’ The Spanish Princess. Exec produced by Richards, Charlie Pattinson, Jonathan Young and Nicola Larder and was commissioned by Cameron Roach, Sky’s Director of Drama and Sky Studios and Zai Bennett, Director of Programming for Sky Entertainment UK & Ireland with Gabriel Silver as commissioning editor. It will air on Sky One and is co-funded and distributed internationally by Sky Vision.
Joe Donaldson (Peaky Blinders) produces; Hans Herbots (Riviera) is the lead director and will direct the first three episodes with Al Mackay (Humans) directing the remaining episodes.
Carlyle said, “I am really looking forward to stepping into the role of the Prime Minister in a story that feels almost too true to be fiction. Cobra is a palpably thrilling and witty take on a political drama but with a humanity at the heart of the series.”
Roach said, “Cobra gives a fascinating look into the world of politics and power under pressure, brought to life so brilliantly by Ben Richard’s scripts. It is a fantastic addition to our growing line up of home-grown British drama on Sky.”
Charlie Pattinson, Co-Founder and CEO of New Pictures, added, “Cobra is a thrilling mix of high stakes politics and high-octane action. We are delighted to be working with Sky again to realize Ben Richards’ exhilarating scripts.”