Veteran British actor Timothy Spall (Mr Turner) is to lead The Sixth Commandment, Sarah Phelps’ BBC factual drama about the deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin in the village of Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire, and the extraordinary events that unfolded over the following years.
Filming has begun on the four-parter and Spall, who plays lead Farquhar, is joined by Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax), Éanna Hardwicke (Normal People), Annabel Scholey (The Split), Sheila Hancock (Unforgotten), Ben Bailey Smith (The Split), Conor MacNeill (Industry), Adrian Rawlins (Baptiste) and Amanda Root (Summerland).
The show from Banijay-backed Wild Mercury Productions and True Vision Productions tells the story of how the meeting of an inspirational teacher and charismatic student Ben Field (Hardwicke) set the stage for one of the most complex and confounding criminal cases in recent memory. It also focuses on how suspicions around Field’s relationship with Ann Moore-Martin (Reid), Farquhar’s deeply religious neighbour, unlocked a series of chilling revelations.
The show is being made in full cooperation with Farquhar and Moore-Martin’s families and filming is taking place in and around Bristol and Bath.
Spall is a twice-BAFTA-nominated British actor who has featured in a wealth of Mike Leigh films along with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Vanilla Sky.
The BBC’s Agatha Christie writer Phelps said: “I wouldn’t have been able to write this without the help, support and insights of Peter and Ann’s families. I’m so appreciative of the trust they placed in me to tell the stories of their loved ones.”
The show follows similar BBC factual dramas including Stephen Merchant-starring Four Lives and 2017’s The Moorside.
The Sixth Commandment is directed by Saul Dibb (The Salisbury Poisonings, NW) and produced by Frances du Pille (The Outlaws, The Watch). It is executive produced by Phelps, Derek Wax for Wild Mercury Productions, Brian Woods for True Vision Productions and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The Sixth Commandment is being distributed internationally by Banijay Rights.