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Sky, Foxtel Order ‘The End,’ Starring Harriet Walter, Frances O’Connor

Harriet Walter, who appeared in “The Crown” and “Black Earth Rising,” and Frances O’Connor, who was Golden Globe nominated for “Madame Bovary” and “The Missing,” are set to star in “The End,” a co-production from pay-TV companies Sky in the U.K. and Foxtel in Australia.

The 10-part show is produced by the TV arm of See-Saw, which produced Jane Campion’s Emmy-nominated series “Top of the Lake,” and whose recent movies include Steve McQueen’s heist thriller “Widows.” See-Saw’s past movies include “The King’s Speech,” which won four Oscars, including best picture.

“The End,” described as “thought-provoking, darkly comic and full of heart” by Liz Lewin, executive producer for Sky, is about three generations of a family “with separate but intersecting obsessions – trying to figure out how to die with dignity, live with none and make it count,” according to a statement.

O’Connor plays Dr. Kate Brennan, an Australian-based specialist in palliative care. “Euthanasia is a hot-button topic in Kate’s field of work, and she is passionate in her opposition. In England, Kate’s mother, Edie Henley (Walter), feels just as strongly about her right to die.”

Kate has little choice but to ship Edie out to Australia and deposit her in a nearby retirement village in the Gold Coast – Edie’s worst nightmare. While Kate struggles with her own problems, her children are trying to work out who they are and who they want to be.

Creator and writer Samantha Strauss said: “So often we shy away from death and try to sanitize it, pretend it’s never going to happen. This series aims to do the opposite. As our characters figure out how to die, they’re really grappling with how they’ve lived and what they’re going to do with the time they have left….No one’s perfect in this family, but they love each other for their flaws and hopefully audiences will, too.”

Rachel Gardner, executive producer for See-Saw, said: “It’s rare to see the complexities of life for middle-aged and older women depicted on screen, but Sam Strauss has created just that with a group of characters with trials and tribulations that will resonate for all ages.”

The series, being filmed in Queensland, Australia, this year, is directed by Jessica M. Thompson (“The Light of the Moon”) and Jonathan Brough (“Rosehaven”).

Executive producers for the series are Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Gardner, Strauss, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman. Louise Smith and Carol Hughes are producers, with Patrick Walters as associate producer. Executive producers for Sky are Lewin and Anne Mensah. Executive producers for Foxtel are Penny Win and Carly Heaton.

“The End” will air on Sky Atlantic and streaming service Now TV in the U.K. and Ireland next year. Endeavor is selling the series internationally.

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