The broadcaster held a lavish event at London’s Renaissance Hotel in Kings Cross last night to showcase its latest slate and its recent talent drive.
C5’s Director of Programmes Ben Frow also revealed a number of new dramas, building on shows such as Cold Call, which is currently on air, Clink and The Decieved from Catherine The Great producer New Pictures.
How Green Was My Valley is a 1939 novel by Richard Llewellyn. It tells the story of a respectable mining family from South Wales through the eyes of son Huw Morgan. While Huw’s five brothers and father are coalminers, Huw’s academic ability set his apart and allows him to consider a future away from the mines. After his eldest brother is killed in a mining accident, he moves in with his sister-in-law, with whom he has always been in love with. One of Huw’s three sisters, Angharad marries the wealthy mine owner’s son,, while having a clandestine relationship with a local minister, and his father dies in a mine explosion. This drives Huw to move away from the town and tell his story.
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The book was adapted into a feature film in 1941 by John Ford, starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O’Hara and famously beat Citizen Kane for best picture at the Oscars.
Ben Frow told Deadline that he wanted to make dramas that showed parts of Britain that weren’t often shown on television and drew a link between How Green Was My Valley and All Creatures Great and Small, which Playground Entertainment is adapting for C5.
Frow said that the book was one of his favorites. “It was not only a great film, but a series that is ripe for the world we live in now. That will become a four-part series for next autumn,” he added.
Frow and Sebastian Cardwell, who heads up drama for C5, is also working on a new take on Oliver Twist as well as a fully-fledged drama about Anne Boleyn. Charles Dickens’ story of a young boy who moves to London and gets mixed up with elderly criminal Fagin and his gang of juvenile pickpockets has been adapted a number of times, most recently in 2005 as a feature film by Roman Polanski and in 2007 as a five episode series for BBC One starring Tom Hardy.
“We love an adaptation, and a contemporary take on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist,” said Frow.
Frow added, “Drama a year ago barely existed on Channel 5… Then we came up with the idea of doing low-cost drama — very Channel 5 — and it was amazing how incredibly talented people wanted to make drama. Great writers, great producers, great directors all came knocking on the door.”
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