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Sherwood star Joanne Froggatt says harrowing BBC drama is ‘unlike anything I’ve ever read or seen before’

Sherwood begins tonight on BBC One and is inspired by the events of two murders that took place within weeks of each other in Nottinghamshire in 2004. 

The new six-parter boasts a cast full of instantly recognisable names, including David Morrissey, Lesley Manville and Joanne Froggatt, involving two killings in a small town near Nottingham.

It comes from writer James Graham – who also penned ITV’s Quiz – who grew up in the area at the time when the killings occurred.

Joanne plays as local Conservative councillor Sarah Vincent whose political campaigning only further signifies the polarisation in the town, which was heavily divided over the miners’ strikes of the mid-1980s.

In the opening episode, Sarah ties the knot to Neel Fisher (Bally Gill) in a ceremony featuring many of the local residents in attendance.

But just hours later former miner Gary Jackson (Alun Armstrong) is killed outside his house in a small Nottinghamshire town, and there are fears that the murder may be connected to the divisions that tore the community apart back in the miners’ strike of 1984-85.

Sarah marries Neel Fisher (centre) in episode one (Picture: BBC)

Chatting to alongside co-star Bally Gill, Joanne shared how she believed the thriller would be very memorable for viewers.

She said: ‘It’s not your average anything. It’s really, really special. I don’t say that about everything.

‘I mean, you do feel, obviously, a big pull to all the projects you do, but this just such an incredible story.’

The former Downton Abbey star went on to admit she hasn’t ‘read or seen anything like this before’, noting how there are so many different strands there are to the story.

Lesley Manville (centre) is left broken when her husband is killed (Picture: BBC)

‘The way James has moulded this story, and he’s created these really real, brilliantly put together characters and community amongst this real sort of political thriller, but not just a political thriller.

‘It’s just got everything in there. It’s a really, yeah, it’s a really incredible piece of work,’ Joanne told us.

Meanwhile, when asked whether he felt a need to do justice to the families of those involved, Bally agreed there was a ‘certain amount of pressure.’

‘Oh, you kind of do feel like that,’ he said. ‘When people from the family were involved, who gave the blessing to James, and from him being from that area, I think you’ve always felt a certain amount of pressure anyway, to feel like you can represent these people represent them well

‘Whether that’s become them, sound like them… but also at the same time, we try and create something that’s, as Jo was saying, something that I don’t think is quite been done before.

He went on to describe the process as ‘quite scary’ but also ‘exciting’ to try and figure out the direction of the series.

‘That’s what we were all doing, when we’re filming, or when we’re having talks, we had initial character talks with the directors, and we were just trying to figure it out and make sure that we bring as much as we can to the piece,’ Bally shared.

The six-part series will air for the next three weeks each Monday and Tuesday in the same time slot, with viewers able to watch all episodes on iPlayer afterwards.

Sherwood begins tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

Credit: Source

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