The Forge produced its inaugural production in 2016, the compelling and highly topical serial drama National Treasure (C4/Hulu), written by multi award-winning writer Jack Thorne and starring Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters and Andrea Riseborough. The show, which sees a celebrity accused of historic sex crimes, went on to win three BAFTA’s and three RTS Awards and was the first in a ‘trilogy’ of 4-part timely, state of the nation dramas for C4 and The Forge’s collaborations with Jack Thorne.
The second, Kiri (C4/Hulu), tells the story of the fallout following the disappearance of a young black girl. The series is directed by Euros Lynn and stars Sarah Lancashire, Steven Mackintosh and Lucian Msamati amongst others, and has achieved great ratings success. The series also premiered exclusively in the U.S as part of Hulu’s award-winning original slate.
The Accident (C4/Hulu) concluded the trilogy and where National Treasure is about shame and Kiri about blame, The Accident is about justice. Directed by Sandra Goldbacher and starring BAFTA award-winning Sarah Lancashire, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Joanna Scanlan and Mark Lewis-Jones, the series explores a forgotten Welsh town’s search for justice after the project designed to rejuvenate their local community leads to a catastrophic accident, claiming the lives of local children.
Jack Thorne’s most recent collaboration with The Forge is currently in production. Help (w/t) (C4), a 1×120’ drama, set in a fictional Liverpool care home, tells the moving and urgent story of the relationship between a young care home worker and a patient, whose lives are changed forever by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Directed by Marc Munden and with a stellar cast heralded by Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer, the drama will shine an unflinching light on the terrible events of 2020 through a compelling, warm and heart-wrenching relationship.
The Forge’s award-winning returning school series Ackley Bridge (C4) first transmitted in 2017, with its initial 6-part series triumphantly marking the channel’s return to 8pm week-night drama. The series is created by Ayub Khan-Din, Malcolm Campbell and Kevin Erlis and has seen an array of established and emerging writers work across the four series to date. Set in a Yorkshire Academy formed by the merger of an all-white and an all-Asian school, Ackley Bridge has won praise for tackling real-life situations and issues in an irreverent, insightful way, with humour and punchy, big hearted stories. With three series and 26 hours under its belt, the fourth series returns with a revised format of 10×30’ episodes, in an earlier 6pm slot and sees familiar faces Jo Joyner, Sunetra Sarker, Robert James-Collier and Charlie Hardwick, joined by new cast members Robyn Cara, Yasmin Al Khudhairi and Ryan Dean, amongst others. Ackley Bridge has been the biggest show of 2021 so far for teenagers (16-19-year olds) on All 4.
The first of The Forge’s collaborations with the BBC, was The Last Post (BBC1/Amazon) a 6-part original drama series set in Aden in the 1960s. Created by BAFTA winner Peter Moffat, the show was co-produced with Bonafide Films and stars Jessie Buckley, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jessica Raine and Ben Miles. Directed by Jonny Campbell and Miranda Bowen.
Also for the BBC, The Forge produced The Miniaturist (BBC1/WGBH) a 2-part adaptation of Jessie Burton’s best-selling thriller set in 17th century Amsterdam, written by John Brownlow and starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Romola Garai and Alex Hassell. The sumptuous period mini-series was transmitted on consecutive nights in December 2017.
In collaboration with pre-eminent writer David Hare, The Forge has produced two 4-part drama series’. Collateral (BBC2/Netflix), a high-octane crime thriller about immigration set in present day London was directed by S J Clarkson and stars Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Nicola Walker and Billie Piper. Most recently produced was Roadkill (BBC1/Masterpiece), a major political thriller, directed by Michael Keillor, about a self-made, forceful and charismatic politician played by award-winning actor Hugh Laurie, with Helen McCrory playing the Prime Minister, Dawn Ellison. A further ensemble cast includes Sidse Babett Knudsen, Saskia Reeves, Sarah Greene, Iain De Caestecker and Pippa Bennett-Warner.
The Forge also produced Dark Money (BBC1), a gripping, timely and evocative 4-part series written by BAFTA winning writer Levi David Addai and directed by Lewis Arnold. With BAFTA nominated Babou Ceesay and Jill Halfpenny leading the cast, the original drama sees an ordinary London family decide to accept a substantial pay-off from a renowned filmmaker to keep silent about the abuse of their youngest son.
The Forge is currently in production with Becoming Elizabeth, an 8-part original period series for Starz by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Anya Reiss, who is joined by an all-female writing team in Emily Ballou, Suhayla El- Bushra and Anna Jordan. The series tells the fascinating story of the early life of England’s most iconic Queen, in a way that she’s never been seen before, a teenager finding her way in a treacherous world. The series is directed by Justin Chadwick, Udayan Prasad and Catherine Morshead and stars German award-winning actress Alicia Von Rittberg in the title role.
The Forge’s most recent green light is Rules of the Game (BBC), a gripping new 4-part thriller about sexual politics in the modern workplace. Written by theatre, film and TV writer Ruth Fowler and directed by Jennifer Sheridan, the drama stars Maxine Peake as Sam, a hard-headed manager at a family run business in the North West.