ITV commissions major eight part drama series The Halcyon from Left Bank Pictures
“From time to time, I have to do things against my instinct. But the point is I am paid to serve and the guest must always come first.”
ITV today confirmed commission of an 8 x 60’ drama series, The Halcyon, which tells the story of a bustling and glamorous five star hotel at the centre of London society and a world at war.
The drama, set in 1940, shows London life through the prism of war and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across every social strata - set to a soundtrack of the music of the era.
Produced by award-winning independent production company Left Bank Pictures (Wallander, DCI Banks), The Halcyon reveals how war permeates everyone’s lives from the glamorous guests to its loyal, hard-working staff watched from within by American journalist Joe O’Hara.
Created by writer Charlotte Jones (Without You), who also writes the series, The Halcyon has been commissioned by ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea.
“A hotel is the perfect place to show ambition in telling the story of World War II,” said Steve. “It was an extraordinary time in our country’s history, and London was a transforming city. The Halcyon takes us right to the heart of this as the hotel is busy, energetic, and vibrant which reflects how people carried on with their lives with defiance in the air,” added Steve.
The Halcyon will be executive produced by Sharon Hughff (Strike Back, Waterloo Road) and produced by Chris Croucher (Downton Abbey).
Left Bank Chief Executive Andy Harries said: "1940 is one of the most dramatic years in our islands history. Who could have imagined that London would survive the blitz and Luftwaffe’s attempted destruction of the city? What was it like to be in a 5 star hotel in the West End through this extraordinary period?
It’s such a compelling idea for a drama. The world of the Halcyon hotel has to carry on, through thick and thin and against all odds. The bedrooms have to be made safe, the bars have to stay open, and the band has to play on. People have to sleep, eat and survive.
Our opening line says it all: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’.”
The series will begin filming in London and surrounding areas from April 2016.
About Left Bank Pictures
Left Bank Pictures is a multi award-winning film and television independent production company set up by Chief Executive Andy Harries and Managing Director Marigo Kehoe. Since 2007, Left Bank has built up a creative team with a wealth of experience in British filmmaking and broadcasting. In 2012 Sony Pictures Television took a majority stake in the company signalling a significant move into scripted production for Sony in the UK. Left Bank Pictures has produced major drama series for the BBC, WGBH, ITV1, Sky1 HD, and HBO, Cinemax, two comedy series for E4 and motion pictures for Sony Pictures, Europacorp and Optimum Releasing with many more projects in development. Named Best Independent Production Company at the Broadcast Awards in 2011, Left Bank Pictures has a portfolio of films and series have been recognised by the Golden Globes, Emmy’s, Academy Awards, BAFTA and Royal Television Society amongst many other award ceremonies. Working with the UK’s leading writing, directing and on-screen talent to produce bold, innovative feature films, television dramas and cutting edge comedy Left Bank Pictures prides itself on nurturing and championing exciting new talent set to create the hits of tomorrow.