Alan Plater pens new period drama for ITV

Productions November 2, 2009

ITV today announced the commissioning of a new period drama, Joe Maddison’s War, written by multi-awarding winning writer, Alan Plater.

Starring Kevin Whately and Robson Green, Joe Maddison’s War will be produced by Mammoth Screen and will take the form of a one-off film.

Set in Newcastle in 1939, Joe Maddison’s War features shipyard worker Joe (Kevin Whately) who feels emasculated and past his prime; too old to serve in the war, and he’s shocked when his wife leaves him for a younger naval officer. Needing a new challenge, Joe and his friend Harry (Robson Green) reluctantly volunteer to join the Home Guard. A decision which leads Joe on a journey of self discovery, on which he will learn lessons of heroism and friendship, and also finds love…

A recipient of the Dennis Potter BAFTA Award in 2005, Alan Plater, explained why Joe Maddison’s War is a drama project that means so much to him:

“My family background is strictly Tyneside – the earlier generations worked in and around the shipyards, my favourite uncle was in the Home Guard, and my head is still full of family anecdotes from the period.”

He added: “Joe Maddison’s War splices three elements: solid historical research (the Home Guard in the North-East was one of the few to engage in direct contact with the enemy, mainly anti-aircraft and rocket batteries): half-remembered family folklore and gossip: and a lot of simple old–fashioned invention. Add them together and it’s a love letter to a remarkable generation of ordinary folk – the good, the bad and the gorblimey – who proved their amazing ability to be extraordinary and heroic. I owe them everything.”

Alan’s credits go back almost half a century and include: “Z Cars”, “The Beiderbecke Affair”, “Fortunes of War”, “A Very British Coup” and “The Last of the Blonde Bombshells”.

Joe Maddison’s War has been commissioned for ITV by Drama Commissioners Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes.

“We’re delighted Alan Plater has written this very personal piece for ITV,” said Sally. “It’s a poignant and witty script and it’s fantastic to bring Kevin and Robson together onscreen for the first time.”

Joe Maddison’s War will be set in Newcastle and executive produced by Michele Buck and Damien Timmer.

“Joe Maddison’s War is a beautiful script, full of comedy, sadness and joy – it’s Alan Plater at the top of his game. We’re looking forward to filming in the North East and using some of the area’s top talent,” added Damien.

Filming is due to begin next March in the North East.

Press contact: Janice Troup Tel: 0161 952 6220