BBC Four’s Channel Editor Cassian Harrison announced a number of new commissions for the channel at last week’s Edinburgh TV Festival. Amongst these announcements was new standalone drama The Dead Room, written and directed by Sherlock co-creator and frequent Doctor Who guest writer and guest star, Mark Gatiss.
The Dead Room is a chilling new ghost story, which is set and filmed at the iconic BBC Maida Vale Studios. This half-hour drama tells the tale of a long-running radio horror series and its veteran presenter and national treasure Aubrey Judd. But with the arrival of a new, young producer comes the realisation that the times are changing, leaving Judd wondering whatever happened to the classic ghost stories of days gone by? He soon discovers that all is not quiet in the eerie radio studio and that elements of his own past are not as dead and buried as he perhaps hoped…
As well as having Gatiss at the helm as writer and director, the cast contains a number of familiar faces from the world of Doctor Who. Simon Callow (who previously starred as Charles Dickens in Gatiss’ first Doctor Who episode ‘The Unquiet Dead’) will take on the lead role of Aubrey Judd. Starring alongside him will be Anjili Mohindra, best known for her role as Rani Chandra in The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Susan Penhaligon, who appeared as Lakis in 1972 Doctor Who story ‘The Time Monster’.
Channel Editor Cassian Harrison has said of these new commissions, “I’m immensely proud of how BBC Four continues to stand as a truly unique offer in UK broadcasting, and of the ongoing support of our audiences, with the channel showing some of its best figures ever this year. This selection of upcoming titles gives a glimpse of the diversity of programming we have coming down the line, with bold new narrative forms, hard-hitting journalism, the best of international drama and eclectic partnerships with some of the UK’s biggest creative talents.”
Other new commissions include two factual series, one being box-set history series The Yorkshire Ripper and the other a two-part series currently under the working title You, Me and Eugenics. BBC Four has also acquired Spanish period thriller The Plague, a six-part drama set in Seville.