The next big-budget period drama is coming to SBS later this month with Medici: Masters of Florence.
The UK -Italy co-production set in 15th century Florence was was co-created by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, Man in the High Castle) and Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
It features Richard Madden, Stuart Martin and Annabel Scholey, with appearances by Dustin Hoffman and Brian Cox.
Filmed in Florence, the show premiered in Italy in October to bumper figures, and has been renewed for a second season.
It launches with a double episode premiere later this month.
Breaking ratings records in Italy with 7.6 million viewers for the premiere, the stunning political family drama will take audiences on a journey through epic medieval Italy telling the story of the Medici dynasty and how they found extreme wealth, which sat at the core of their power and influence.
From a multi-award-winning production team and starring Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Rain Man) as the family patriarch Giovanni de’ Medici, Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Cinderella) as Cosimo de’ Medici and Annabel Scholey (Being Human, Walking on Sunshine) as Contessina, the series was shot on location in picturesque Florence, Italy and showcases stunning Tuscan countryside alongside iconic Venice.
Cosimo de’ Medici is on a mission to find out who is responsible for his father’s untimely death and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. He is aided by his brother, Lorenzo de’ Medici (Stuart Martin) and his trusted servant, Marco Bello (Guido Caprino). Top of his list of suspects is arch-enemy, Rinaldo Albizzi (Lex Shrapnel), his one-time friend.
Cosimo must also strive to maintain his father’s financial legacy, but his ambitions are vastly different from his father’s (big banking). Drawn to art and architecture, Cosimo embarks on the completion of the Duomo. His love of art will herald the birth of the Renaissance – one of the most iconic periods of art, science, religion and politics in Europe’s rich history.
Coming into power at a time of great social and economic inequality, their wealth and power has elevated the Medici family to a status equal to the nobility, much to the distaste of many of Florence’s old noble families. However the family is unique in that they are neither nobility nor commoners; they are the new “middle class”.
Much like the Medici family itself, this is a series filled with extravagance, passion, beauty and agony, not to mention drama. Australian audiences will be entertained by gripping storylines and educated by the historical links throughout the 8-episode series which appears for the first time on television this month.
Seven million Italians can’t be wrong…
8.35pm Thursdays from 27 April on SBS.