The BBC has ordered “SAS: Rogue Heroes,” which is being adapted by “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight, Oscar nominated for “Dirty Pretty Things,” from Ben Macintyre’s book. The drama series will tell the story of how the British special forces unit, the SAS, came to be formed.
The series is being produced by Kudos, whose credits include “Broadchurch” and “Humans,” and will be distributed globally by Endemol Shine Intl.
The show will explore the thinking that led to the creation of a new form of combat in the deserts of North Africa during World War II. The BBC said it would celebrate “the glory, action and camaraderie at the heart of this story,” and “delve into the psychology of the flawed, reckless but astonishingly brave group of maverick officers and men who formed the SAS in the darkest days of World War II.”
Macintyre was given privileged access to the SAS’s archives to write his account of its history.
Knight said: “This will be a secret history telling the story of exceptional soldiers who decided battles and won wars only to then disappear back into the shadows. We will shine a light on remarkable true events informed by the people who shaped them.”
Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, said: “It is an honor to be working once again with the great Steve Knight. ‘SAS: Rogue Heroes’ will lift the lid on the origins of one of Britain’s most iconic institutions and explore the characters, courage and flaws of the men involved with all of the honesty and swagger we have come to expect from Steve.”
Karen Wilson, joint managing director of Kudos, said: “The fact that this project has moved so swiftly from development to commission is testament to the power of this story and Steven’s unique ability to draw the extraordinary, complex men at its heart. Imagine them being drawn with the same color, character and compassion as the iconic characters which feature across Steven’s work and you get a sense of the huge potential of this project.”
The series, comprising six one-hour episodes, was ordered by Wenger and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content. It will be executive produced by Wilson, Martin Haines and Emma Kingsman-Lloyd for Kudos, and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC’s flagship channel, BBC One, where the show will air.
Casting will be announced in due course.