Smash's Jack Davenport joins ITV's Breathless
ITV have announced that they are commissioning a new medical drama Breathless, a compelling six-part series set in London in 1961, starring JACK DAVENPORT (SMASH and Priates of the Carribean.)
Breathless has been co-created and written by Paul Unwin, who will also direct the first two episodes of the series. The other writers are Peter Grimsdale (the show’s co-creator) and Simon Tyrrell (Lightfields, Survivors.)
The series is set when Britain was on the verge of it’s greatest cultural revolutions; the swinging sixties. The medical drama, set in and around a busy Gynaecology unit, will therefore play host to many questions about sexuality that were being raised at the time; for example the introduction of the pill for women and the looming Abortion Act 1967.
Jack Davenport’s character plays a pivotal role at addressing these subjects as his character Otto Powell, a brilliant and charismatic surgeon, who passionately believes he can make a difference to women’s lives, even if that means risking imprisonment under the abortion laws of 1961. Otto and his elegant wife, Elizabeth, preside over the rich ensemble of characters – they are the beautiful people living the consumerist dream and the couple that the others aspire towards. But Otto and Elizabeth are hiding a devastating secret about their marriage - an event in their past which could shatter the careful illusion they have created.
Breathless has been commissioned for ITV by Acting Director of Drama Commissioning Steve November.
"I'm delighted to be adding a new medical drama to our roster of returning series. Paul and Peter have created a compelling group of characters at a fascinating point in the history of the NHS" said Steve.
Breathless is produced by Jolyon Symonds (Thorne, Complicit). ITV Studios Kate Bartlett will executive produce the series with Paul Unwin, who is directing the first two episodes.
Kate Bartlett, executive producer for ITV Studios said: "Breathless is an exhilarating and charismatic character drama, set against a glamorous London backdrop. The medical stories and events are there to illuminate and complicate the lives of our key characters and 1961 is a fascinating time in which to explore the changing role of women in society."
Breathless will go into production in April and will be filmed on location in London.
Breathless will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.