New Drama The Village Announced by the BBC

A new epic drama series called The Village staring John Simm and Maxine Peake has been announced by the BBC.

Written by Bafta-winning writer Peter Moffat, the much-anticipated show charts the life and turbulent times of one English village across 100 years.

Beginning in 1914, the period drama paints a portrait of life as it was, with viewers seeing births, deaths, love and betrayal, great political events and war, upheavals in national identity and changing attitudes sex and religion, with the camera never stepping outside the bubble of the community,

Central to the story is the character of Bert Middleton, a centenarian whose life story forms the backbone to the new show. We are introduced to the young man growing up in extreme poverty on a family farm in Derbyshire, with his two parents John (John Simm, State of Play, The Devil’s Whore) and Grace (Maxine Peake, Silk, Criminal Justice, Shameless), struggling to look after the boy and his brother John (played by Nico Mirallegro).

The first episode opens with the arrival of the first bus ever to stop in the village, and a huge crowd is gathered, desperate to get a glimpse of this modern wonder. But as Bert is busy marveling at the new-fangled contraption, off steps the beautiful, headstrong Martha Lane (Charlie Murphy, Misfits, Love Hate), a figure set to change his world forever.

A stellar cast has been put together for the drama series, and staring alongside those already mentioned are Jim Cartwright (writer of Road and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice), Anthony Flanagan (Being Human), Annabelle Apsion (Shameless), Joe Armstrong (Robin Hood), Matt Stokoe (Misfits), Augustus Prew (The Borgias) and Stephen Walters (The 51st State).

Talking about her role, Maxine Peake said: “[It’s] beautiful writing, a period piece not focusing on the decision makers but the working people, it is so great to see the other side- changes within a chain of social and political life, in minutiae.

“My character, Grace, channels all her energy into her family with a focus on ambition and the idea of freedom for her sons, with women moving into the workplace as the men went to fight and finding independenceâ€?.

The new six part series films on location in the Peak District, and will be broadcast on BBC One in 2013.