UKTV commissions international thriller

UKTV has announced production on False Witness, a two-part thriller set in Sydney, Tajikistan and London.

Written by screenwriter Peter Gawler (Underbelly), the series will explore “the murky world of international intelligence with an explosive and unstoppable chain reaction of events.” It is directed and co-produced by Peter Andrikidis and Greg Haddrick is also co-producer.

The plot is inspired by real incidents including the 1997 theft of five Soviet built nuclear “suitcase bombs”, and explores the build up to a possible nuclear attack.

It will feature Dougray Scott, Rachael Blake, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Claire Forlani, Don Hany and Richard Roxburgh.

UKTV has commissioned the series as part of its require drama output. It has previously made Make or Break and Supernova.

To air in early 2009, False Witness will be produced by Screentime and Power Productions.

Press Release:
UKTV is thrilled to confirm production is under way on False Witness, a Screentime and Power production.

Set against the back drop of bickering intelligence agencies, fallible police forces and international tensions; False Witness is a supercharged two part thriller with factual foundations.

False Witness is set in present day Sydney, Tajikistan and London. The mini-series is inspired by real incidents known to international security agencies, including the 1997 theft of five Soviet built nuclear “suitcase bombs”, and explores a scenario that could lead to the West’s worst nightmare – a nuclear attack.

Acclaimed award-winning Screentime team Des Monaghan (Executive Producer) and Greg Haddrick (Producer), are at the helm of this international mini-series. False Witness is directed and co-produced by AFI and Logie award-winner, Peter Andrikidis and scripted by multiple AWGIE-winning screenwriter Peter Gawler from a story by Ronan Glennane, Nell Greenwood and Greg Haddrick.

Des Monaghan, Executive Director Screentime said, “Screentime is committed to creating provocative and engaging work and proud to be making this gripping, acutely relevant project.”

“It’s terrific to be strengthening our already strong relationship with Power and UKTV,” continued Monaghan, “and we greatly appreciate yet again the support of the Film Finance Corporation and the NSW Film and Television Office.”

A stellar British and Australian cast including Dougray Scott, Rachael Blake, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Claire Forlani and Richard Roxburgh will bring the explosive thriller to life.

Executive Producer and UKTV Head of Programming, Brendan Dahill said, “This production is a fantastic opportunity to create a compelling drama for our subscribers, exploring themes that are universally relevant.”

“Partnering with Screentime is extremely exciting. They are an amazing team with a brilliant track record of producing distinctive, quality drama including the critically acclaimed series Underbelly,” continued Dahill.

False Witness will be distributed internationally through Power. Justin Bodle, CEO of Power said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Screentime again on another piece of unforgettable drama. With an exciting and intelligent storyline and a fantastic cast on board, False Witness is the kind of international event television that Power is known for.”

British diplomat Ian Porter (Dougray Scott) is apprehended at Heathrow airport in possession of 20 kilos of heroin. Porter’s unwillingness to co-operate leaves Scotland Yard Inspector Julie Hales (Rachael Blake) believing he is doing business with Russian arms and drugs trafficker Sergei Krousov (Don Hany).

Unaware that Krousov has intentions to sell a suitcase bomb, Scotland Yard offers to cut Porter a deal to turn on Krousov. In return, they’ll grant him immunity from prosecution and entry into their International Witness Protection Scheme.

Hales accompanies Porter and his wife (Claire Forlani) to Sydney, where chameleon Porter believes his handler at MI6 (Richard Roxburgh as Van Koors) can manipulate the Australian Federal Police protection team to allow him to complete his mission. AFP agent Wilson (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) and Hales have no idea of Porter’s MI6 links, so when their security is stunningly breached all hell breaks loose.

Taking you to the edge of your seat and beyond, False Witness navigates the murky world of international intelligence with an explosive and unstoppable chain reaction of events.

False Witness will premiere on UKTV in early 2009.


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