Amazon has boarded “Small Axe,” the upcoming anthology series from “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen, and will launch the series in the U.S. It will bow on the BBC in the U.K. and BBC Studios is selling it internationally.
Amazon’s European content chief Georgia Brown revealed its involvement in the series, Tuesday, at a British parliamentary hearing into the broadcasting and SVOD landscape in the country.
McQueen will direct and Lucy Richer will exec produce the show. It is being made by Turbine Studios, the U.K.-based production company founded by seasoned execs including Andrew Eaton and Tracey Scoffield.
The anthology series will run to six parts. Set in London, and starting in the 1960s, it will tell stories from the English capital’s West Indian community as they deal with an often hostile environment.
The story starts in 1968 at a moment of racial tension. In the same year, a small restaurant called The Mangrove opens in Ladbroke Grove, west London, a place of cameraderie and friendship. It becomes a social heart for the community and, over time, a flashpoint for resistance.
Variety understands five stories will be told across the series, with the first taking up the initial two hours of the season.
Speaking about the show when it was greenlit McQueen said: “These stories are passionate, personal and unique. They are testimony to the truth of real lives and urgently need to be told. This is about a legacy which has not only made my life as an artist possible, but also has shaped the Britain that we live in today.”