LONDON — Rufus Sewell will play Charles II, who ruled England from 1660-85, in a four-part historical drama for pubcaster flagship channel BBC1.
Other original history dramas on the BBC sked are two-parter “James I and the Gunpowder Plot,” starring Jimmy McGovern; “The Cambridge Spies,” a four-part drama by Peter Moffatt about the recruitment of Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt into Russian intelligence in the 1930s; and a two-part drama by Nick Dear about 19th-century poet Lord Byron for BBC2, with Jonny Lee Miller in the title role.
“Charles II” will focus on the king and his court, his squabbling family and his glamorous mistresses, from the high-born and promiscuous Barbara Villiers (Helen McCrory), through folk heroine and sex symbol of the day Nell Gwynne (Emma Pierson).
Cast also includes Rupert Graves, Diana Rigg, Martin Freeman and Ian McDiarmid.
“Rufus Sewell has tremendous physical energy combined with sensitivity and charisma, which makes him a perfect choice for the title role,” said Jane Tranter, controller of drama commissioning at the BBC.