Airdate: Butterfly

Acclaimed UK drama series Butterfly begins on SBS in early January.

The 3 part series by writer Tony Marchant (Public Enemies, The Secret Agent).

It stars Anna Friel (Marcella, Broken) and Stephen (Emmett J Scanlan) as separated parents, and their division in opinion over how to support their ‘gender variant child’ Max (Callum Booth-Ford).

It screened in the UK in October.

From a young age, their now 11-year old son has identified as a girl but has tried to suppress these feelings in an attempt to earn Stephen’s approval. When Max’s feelings become increasingly distressing, Stephen seizes the opportunity to return to live at the family home, hoping to encourage male bonding and prove himself to Vicky.

What unfolds is the greatest challenge and test of love and understanding imaginable. The social transitioning of Max to Maxine is initially thwarted because of the clear division of opinion between Vicky and Stephen. With puberty looming, Maxine grows in confidence and becomes increasingly certain that she’s in the right skin as a girl – but is this enough to get everyone else on board?

Writer Tony Marchant consulted with parents and families of children who have experienced gender dysphoria while writing the program, and the resulting series gives a glimpse into how different people deal with social and personal change. Offering insight into multiple perspectives and experiences, this emotional and at times uplifting program shines a light on a complex issue and invites Australian viewers to engage in a discussion around gender and identity.

The Guardian said Butterfly “…is a wonderfully delicate drama that covers new ground carefully and features fully realised characters at war with their instincts, intellects and worse or better natures”.

The Times UK called it “sensitive and moving… a glimpse into a world of suffering that most of us, mercifully, will never know.”

Butterfly was commissioned by ITV (UK) and produced by RED Production Company and AENON. The series was written, created, and executive produced by Tony Marchant and directed by Anthony Byrne. Nicola Shindler, Caroline Hollick and Adam Kemp are executive producers. The series is distributed globally by Fremantle.

Wednesday, 9 January at 9.45pm on SBS.


  1. It is amazing. I have seen it. Anna Friel is wonderful and Callum Booth-Ford is so superb as the lead. Yes there is so much it could have also covered but this is only three episodes

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