Period drama: The as yet untouched eras
Another year, another round of period dramas, with writing taken to the next level, star-studded casts, and more complex twists and turns than ever before. There’s always murder, there are always love affairs, but some periods are missing among the hundreds of boxsets on the likes of Netflix and Britbox.
There are so many stories and eras that remain untapped by writers and producers, with others covered with the surface barely scratched. Here’s a rundown of some of the periods set to be explored next.
The Hacienda was once one of the coolest and most popular nightclubs on the planet, but it was also one that had more drama than could be fit into a six-part series. The film 24-Hour Party People somewhat charted the story of the nightclub, but in comedy form. With so much having gone on around it the club, there’s still plenty of scope.
It was revealed a few years ago that the rights of New Order bass player Peter Hook’s book The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club had been acquired in order to create a drama. Witchery Pictures had planned to collaborate with Ed Whitmore (who wrote Manhunt) on turning it into a series, but news surrounding the acquisition has been quiet for over a year. The book charts the rise and fall of the building, and is packed with financial disasters, legendary gigs, violence, fallouts and more, all against the backdrop of one of the most culturally significant musical movements in history.
The gaming boom
A number of TV shows have tried and failed to set shows around much-loved games. Some of the games are British institutions, and in recent years have become particularly popular online. Nowadays there are many trusted and safe bingo platforms on the web, and millions of people play every day, which certainly suggests the interest is there. Sadly it has proven difficult to get right. As an example, Paul O’Grady starred in a sitcom based on this game called Eyes Down in 2003, but it failed to capture the public’s imagination, despite its 1960s setting being the perfect backdrop. In height of the swinging 60s, amid Beatlemania, there were over 150,000 people playing in bingo halls each day. There’s murder mystery written all over this period and it has the potential for some seriously stylish drama.
1966 in Football
Sticking with the same decade, remarkably there have been very few dramas to really capture the essence of football. Perhaps the best effort has been 2011’s feature film United, directed by James Strong. The flick told the story of the Munich Air Disaster and its aftermath, in which Sir Matt Busby had to rebuild the Busby Babes after the tragic loss of a number of players on the flight, alongside many members of staff and journalists. Surprisingly, though, there have been few comparable efforts retelling historic moments in football, and, incredibly, very few dramas around England’s 1966 World Cup win. Tina and Bobby centres primarily on the relationship between captain Bobby Moore and his wife, and failed to win over critics, but there’s been no wider look at the team. Capturing the trials and tribulations of that team would be the perfect starting point for a long-awaited football drama.
The editorial unit