Downton Abbey alum Michelle Dockery has signed on for the leading role in Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight’s upcoming BBC drama titled This Town. Production has already begun on the project in Birmingham.
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Additionally, Nicholas Pinnock (Life), David Dawson (My Policeman), Levi Brown (Loss and Return), Jordan Bolger (The Woman King), Ben Rose (The Innocents), and Eve Austin (You) have also been tapped for leading roles opposite Dockery.
“This is a project very close to my heart,” Knight said in a statement (via BBC). “It’s about an era I lived through and know well, and it involves characters who I feel I grew up with. It’s a love letter to Birmingham and Coventry, but I hope people from all over the world will relate to it.”
This Town is a six-part epic drama described as a high-octane thriller and Knight’s most personal drama yet. Additional cast includes Geraldine James (Anne with an E), Peter McDonald (The Batman), Freya Parks (The School of Good and Evil), Shyvonne Ahmmad (Annika), John Heffernan (Dracula), Stefan Asante-Boateng (Coronation Street), Séainín Brennan (The Fall), George Somner (Sex Education), and Brendan Gibson (Peaky Blinders).
“The series tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music, which exploded from the grassroots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late 70s and early 80s, uniting black, white, and Asian youths,” reads the synopsis. “It is expected to open in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. Against this backdrop, it tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers.”
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This Town is created and written by Steven Knight, with Paul Whittington serving as a director. It is executive produced by Knight, Karen Wilson, Martin Haines, Katie McAleese, Jo McClellan, Laura Conway, Matthew James Wilkinson, and Nick Angel, with Charlotte Surtees producing.