Sophie Okonedo (The Escape Artist) and Adrian Lester (Red Band Society) are set to star in Peter Moffat‘s original six-part BBC One political thriller titled, Undercover.
Described as bold and gripping, the series follows Maya (Okonedo), who is about to become the first black Director of Public Prosecutions. Lester will play her husband Nick, a former undercover officer.
Just as her life comes under intense public scrutiny, Maya discovers that her husband and the father of her children, has been lying to her for years. Is he concealing an affair, or is it something altogether more sinister? If she digs up his real past, will she be safe? And who wants her in this new job and why?
Twenty years ago, Nick was a fearless and dedicated undercover officer, infiltrating organisations considered a danger to society because of their political beliefs.
Nick built himself a fake past and now with his wife unsuspecting, and his conscience killing him – his secret identity may compromise the new Director of Public Prosecutions – Maya, his wife.
“Ever since making ‘Criminal Justice’ with Hilary Salmon,” says Moffat, “we’ve been itching to get back to looking at the parts of the justice system, the media and public life that time and again, over the last five years, have been shown to be occupied by the good, the bad and the very ugly. I’ve been lucky enough with the research sources I’ve had access to, to dig really deep into the darker corners of all these worlds, and come up with what I hope is an uncompromising and surprising thriller. I feel incredibly lucky to be writing for such a wonderful cast, with two lead actors in Sophie Okonedo and Adrian Lester who are right at the top of their games. It has been a particular privilege to have had the chance to involve and engage Sophie in the research and development process at every point.”
To be directed by James Hawes and produced by BBC Drama Production England, shooting will take place in and around Cornwall and London this month.
“Peter Moffat has written an extraordinary story that is relevant and at the same time utterly compelling,” says Okonedo. “He asks hard questions of us all. The part I play is a Titan of women, called Maya, who is not afraid to say the unsayable. She is a truth seeker and is prepared to shine light into the darkest corners, come what may. I am tremendously excited, honored and of course a little frightened to play her.”
Lester adds: “This is one of those opportunities that an actor hopes for. The people involved are some of the most talented artists working in television. Sophie Okonedo, Peter Moffat, Richard Stokes, Hilary Salmon and James Hawes. Having admired them for years, I now get the chance to work with them. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Undercover will also co-star Tamara Lawrance (72 Hours), Daniel Ezra (Murdered by My Boyfriend), Shannon Hayes (Shannon Hayes), Vincent Regan (300), Angel Coulby (Merlin), Derek Ridell (Broken Heart), Mark Bonnar (Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag), Leanne Best (The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death), Jude Akuwudike (Sahara), Dominique Thomas (22 Bullets), Glyn Grimstead (He Kills Coppers), Phil Deguara (Air), Sam Stockman (Family Affairs), Thomas Aldridge (Lincoln), Kerry Shale (The Jacket), Neil D’Souza (Still Life), Todd Kramer (Running Scared), Robert Whitelock (The Bank Job), Terence Beesley (Human Traffic), Fraser Ayres (Intimacy), Clarence Smith (Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace), Brett Allen (Secret Life), Nathan Nolan (Hanna), and Enzo Squillino Jr. (Mamma Mia!).