New York, November 24, 2014 – SundanceTV announced today its next original scripted series, “Babylon,” a co-production with Nightjack Ltd and Channel 4, will debut on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 10 PM ET/PT. The six-part comedy-drama is a biting workplace satire set inside a modern police force.
Starring indie darling Brit Marling (Another Earth, Sound of My Voice, The East) and James Nesbitt (The Hobbit, The Missing), the story revolves around an earnest PR executive who attempts to modernize London’s law enforcement culture only to discover her certainties shattered and herself undermined in the murky realpolitik of contemporary policing.
London’s police force - the oldest in the world - is in need of a public image revamp. And Chief Constable Richard Miller (Nesbitt) has found just the woman to do it - Liz Garvey (Marling). She’s an American visionary from the world of new media parachuted in to revolutionize the force’s PR department. In an age of rolling news, smart phones and an information-hungry public, Liz preaches transparency and honesty.
But controlling the news agenda isn’t easy, particularly when your deputy is the Machiavellian Finn, who’s more used to trading stories with journalists over boozy lunches and is determined to build the fortress walls higher. If that means bringing down the person who got what should have been his job, so be it. And as an outbreak of violence erupts across London, Liz’s vision for the future of the police force faces its greatest test. Fast-paced and razor-sharp, “Babylon” takes a wry look at the people and politics in the command rooms and on the frontlines as it attempts to uphold the peace under constant scrutiny in one of the world’s busiest capital cities.
The series is created and executive produced by Academy Award® winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, Trainspotting), Robert Jones (The Usual Suspects, Dirty Pretty Things), Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, The Old Guys, Fresh Meat) and produced by Jones and Derrin Schlesinger (This Is England, Southcliffe, Four Lions). The series is penned by Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong and Jon Brown.
Danny Boyle says, “Television has changed so much since I last worked there on ‘Inspector Morse’. The confidence and ambition of writers writing for the medium is palpable and is electrifying audiences around the world. In Jesse and Sam, Britain has two of the world's finest and funniest writers. Their take on the world's oldest police force as it navigates the new world of social media and instant modern communication was irresistible. In turn of course, this quality of writing helps attract the finest actors. Their characters, 16 of them, are kept in the air throughout. That's a wonderful way to look at the spread of humanity under phenomenal pressure in an essential public service.”
Sarah Barnett, President of SundanceTV, says, "We're proud to kick off 2015 with 'Babylon,' a unique and energetic series that transports to television the creative brilliance of independent film alums Danny Boyle and Brit Marling. We think this clever, funny and moving series fits perfectly into our daring programming lineup."
“Babylon” additionally stars Bertie Carvel (Restless), Paterson Joseph (The Leftovers, Peep Show, Law and Order UK), Nicola Walker (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Beyond the Gates), Adam Deacon (In Deep, Comedown), Jill Halfpenny (How to Stop Being a Loser, Waterloo Road), Johnny Sweet (Chickens, When Boris Met Dave), Ella Smith (Clone, Burke and Hare), Andrew Brooke (Da Vinci’s Demons, Tag), Nick Blood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Trollied, Stanley Park) and Daniel Kaluuya (Kick-Ass 2, Johnny English Reborn).
Jon S. Baird, director of the multi award-winning Filth, directs the first three episodes of the series, with Sally El Hosaini – awarded Best Newcomer at both BFI London Film Festival and Evening Standard Film Awards for her debut feature My Brother the Devil – directing the final three episodes.
“Babylon” joins SundanceTV’s original scripted programming slate, which includes “The Honorable Woman,” “Rectify,” “The Red Road,” “Top of the Lake” and “One Child.”