Channel 4 has ordered six-part period espionage epic Jerusalem, written and created by Bash Doran. This is the Masters Of Sex and Boardwalk Empire writer’s first original commission for British television. It’s set in the aftermath of WWII, when Britain was struggling to define itself in a new world order. The news comes on the eve of the Edinburgh International Television Festival which kicks off here in the Scottish capital tomorrow.
LA- and London-based 42 (Watership Down) and Warner Bros-owned UK outfit Twenty Twenty Television are producing. Channel 4 and all3Media international are co-funding.
Jerusalem (w/t) revolves around Feef Symonds, a bold 20-something woman who joins the Civil Service in 1945, just as the Labour party sweeps to victory, defeating Winston Churchill in an unexpected landslide. Her ambition to make something of her life goes unrecognized by her family, and is further complicated by her American lover.
Feef agrees to spy on her own government for the Americans, who have a hidden agenda in making sure England’s burgeoning Socialist ambitions don’t play into Soviet hands. Struggling to work out what she stands for, and what she’s capable of, Feef must learn to think for herself and play by her own rules at a time when knowledge becomes power and nothing and no one is what they seem.
Doran, also a playwright whose credits include Kin and The Mystery Of Love And Sex, calls the series, “My perspective on a defining moment in British history when the nation was divided and there was a fight for Britain’s soul. I left England for America not long after I graduated. This show has always been for me an exploration of why I left and my way of coming home.”
Executive producers Eleanor Moran, Tim Carter and Rory Aitken add, “Jerusalem weaves a tense and emotionally charged spy thriller out of the surprisingly tortured relationship between Britain and America, which echoes down the decades and resonates more powerfully than ever in the era of Trump and Brexit.”
Moran (Rome) and Aitken (Watership Down) are exec producing for 42, Tim Carter (Garrow’s Law) is EP for Twenty Twenty. 42’s Josh Varney and Ben Pugh will co-executive produce.
Doran is repped by UTA and Shreck Rose Dapello & Adams.