"There Is Still A Public Interest" BBC Drama Boss on Jimmy Savile's drama 'The Reckoning'
Piers Wenger, BBC drama director, has stressed the public interest in the networks controversial Jimmy Savile project as he highlighted eight upcoming shows that dont fit into the convention of genre.
The Reckoning (working title), starring Steve Coogan as the lead character, will air as a decade since Saviles crimes were exposed shortly after his death, with Wenger revealing in spokesman on Monday that the show will go further than any documentary on the subject.
Our primary goal is to give a voice to the victims and tell stories with the utmost respect, Wenger said at an event featuring eight separate dramas from The Reckoning.
Documentaries [on Savile] go so far in showing the heinous and terrible nature of his crimes, but I have yet to see one that shows how a man could render his victims so weak or hide in plain sight. I feel very confident that this is a story that needs to be told and that there is public interest in it.
Wenger stated that Savile's BBC role will be a part of Jeff Pope'' drama.
After his death, hundreds of people complained of sexual abuse, and the resulting scandal forced then-BBC Director General George Entwistle to resign.
Dont fit the genre
The eight dramas on show apart from The Reckoning included Two Brothers Pictures The Tourist, which stars Jamie Dornan, Martin Freeman-starring The Responder, and Adam Kay adaptation This Is Going To Hurt, featuring Ben Whishaw.
Wenger said the slate doesnt fit within the conventions of genre and should be added to the way British drama is perceived internationally.
Wenger asked: Is This Is Going To Hurt really a medical drama? I dont know. Is The Responder a cop show? There are trillions on television, but its not a procedural portrait, it's essentially describing he is going through incredibly difficult times in his life.
He went on to describe BBC3s latest drama Superhoe as a rights of passage music mashup.
Established BBC writers such as His Dark Materials Jack Thorne rubbished the governments plan to require broadcasters to adhere to distinctive British content quotas last week, but Wenger shrugged off the notion that the proposals would alter his content blueprint.
We consider [distinctiveness] to be at the heart of our jobs, and I hope some of the work on show today demonstrates this, he added. We are not in the market and dont commission by data or algorithm, so we are naturally distinct.
Of greater concern to Wenger is the current lack of studio space and crew, with Netflixs acquisition of Longcross Studios, the home of the long-running BBC1 drama Call the Midwife, creating a headache for the BBC.
Lack of availability drives down costs, and were feeling the effects, he added.
He stated that the BBC does an awful lot of training but that that isnt necessarily shared out, adding that if we don t all take the pain [of training], we are simply not going to be able to produce the drama.