Idris Elba’s new drama, Guerrilla, is getting the box set treatment in the UK.
The show, which stars and is exec-produced by the actor, is a co-production with the USA’s Showtime, and explores one of the most politically explosive times in UK history. Created by 12 Years a Slave’s John Ridley, the series follows politically active lovers Jas (Freida Pinto) and Marcus (Babou Ceesay) and their friends, as the political becomes personal.
Based in 1970s London, the group of activists go head-to-head with a racist police force who are dedicated to crushing them. Elba plays Kent; a second generation Brit dedicated to achieving equality for black people in Britain through peaceful and intellectual methods. Examining the nature of a relationship under pressure, it poses the question: what if the original Black Power movement in London had used violence?
The provocative six-part drama has already sparked debate at its recent premiere in London, with Ridley reportedly answering a question from audience member about why there are “no black women at the forefront of the struggle”, with another adding that the show’s decision to put an Asian woman at the centre of the show was tantamount to “erasure of black women” from the story.
Ridley answered that if aspects of Guerrilla are hard to understand, “I feel I have done my job… [if] everybody understood racism, oppression … there would be no reason to be doing this show … we would be doing Dancing With the Stars.”
He added that having a mixed-race couple at the heart of the programme was because he was in a mixed-race relationship in real life.
“The things that are being said here, and how we are often received, is very equivalent to what’s going on right now in the world. My wife is a fighting, my wife is an activist, and yet because our races are different there are a lot of things we have to still put up with,” he said.
The show premieres at 9pm on Sky Atlantic, with episodes broadcast every Thursday from 13th April. For those keen to devour the complex politics of the show without having to wait for weekly instalments, Sky Atlantic has also released the full season on-demand through Sky Box Sets, with all six parts now available to stream before its transmission.It’s part of a growing trend of shows released all-at-once in the UK, with Sky doing the same for The Trip to Spain last week and BBC iPlayer debuting all of Peter Kay’s Car Share Season 2 on Tuesday. Non-Sky customers can also watch the show live and on-demand through streaming service NOW TV, as part of a Entertainment Pass, which costs £6.99 a month, no contract. To get watching, hit the button below – or read on for a trailer and more details about the series.
Here’s a trailer:
First trailer lands for Idris Elba series Guerrilla
11th January 2017
Sky has today released the first trailer for Guerrilla, a new six-part drama starring and exec-produced by Idris Elba.
The Sky Original Production features an all-star international cast, including a lead couple played by Freida Pinto and Babou Ceesay. Airing on SHOWTIME in the US, Guerrilla also stars Rory Kinnear, Nathaniel Martello-White, Daniel Mays, Denise Gough, Brandon Scott, Zawe Ashton, Nicholas Pinnock, Wunmi Mosaku with Idris Elba.
Created by 12 Years a Slave’s John Ridley, Guerrilla follows politically active lovers Jas (Freida Pinto) and Marcus (Babou Ceesay) and their friends as the political becomes personal. Based in 1970s London, the group of activists go head-to-head with a racist police force who are dedicated to crushing them. Guerrilla explores the nature of a relationship under pressure and poses the question: what if the original Black Power movement in London had used violence?
Elba plays Kent; a second generation Brit dedicated to achieving equality for black people in Britain through peaceful and intellectual methods.
“Though a created narrative, Guerrilla is rooted in the realities of an era when the young and the passionate of differing backgrounds found themselves united by a struggle for the rights of people of colour, of the oppressed, the disenfranchised, and the marginalised,” says Ridley. If those rights could not be obtained by way of public referendum, they would be had with the blast of a bomb, or from the end of a gun. These beliefs are personified in our lead characters Jas and Marcus. They are reflected, as well, in an ensemble that must deal with the consequences of their own actions – and at times in action – both for and against ‘the cause’.”
The six-part series will air on Sky Atlantic from 13th April 2017, following the return of Sky Original series Fortitude this month.
Kinnear, Mays and more join Idris Elba in Sky’s Guerrilla
3rd August 2016
Filming begins this week in and around London on Guerrilla, part of Sky’s growing portfolio of original drama – and the cast line-up is increasingly impressive.
Penny Dreadful’s Rory Kinnear and Line of Duty’s Daniel Mays will star in the six-part thriller, alongside Not Safe for Work’s Zawe Ashton and the already announced Idris Elba.
The drama is created by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), who will direct the first two episodes and the finale, with Sam Miller (Luther, Fortitude) directing the remaining episodes. Elba serve as an executive producer through his Green Door Pictures.
Guerrilla is a love story set against the backdrop of one of the most politically explosive times in U.K. history. It tells the story of a couple whose relationship and values are tested when they liberate a political prisoner and form a radical underground cell in 1970s London. Their ultimate target becomes the Black Power Desk, a true-life, secretive counter-intelligence unit within Special Branch dedicated to crushing all forms of black activism. Whilst the series is set against a background of social and political activism, at its heart Guerrilla is about a relationship under pressure, and the reality that for any couple there comes a point when the choices they make have real and lasting consequences.
Babou Ceesay plays the role of Marcus, whose partner, Jas, is played by Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Both political activists, they quickly transform into hardened militants at war with a Special Branch unit dedicated to crushing all forms of black activism. Rory Kinnear and Daniel Mays play the roles of Pence and Cullen, coppers assigned to a secret Special Branch unit that targets activists. Ashton will play Omega, who views herself as a leader within the black community.
The supporting ensemble also include Denise Gough (People, Places & Things) as the tough and fiery Fallon; Nathaniel Martello-White (Deadmeat, Misfits, Trial and Retribution) as Dhari, an astute and charismatic radical, with Nicholas Pinnock (Fortitude) as the “calm, cool” Julian, and Brandon Scott (Grey’s Anatomy) as Leroy, a “rough-customer who is dedicated to the movement but also has his own policies”.
John Ridley says: “I have wanted to tell this story for many years and I feel a great sense of responsibility towards the people and era that we are portraying. We have been given a rare opportunity to explore the kind of narrative that we do not usually see on television, and with the kinds of artisans who are not typically represented. I am extremely grateful and inspired by the brilliant and dedicated actors who have recently joined our team.”
Along with Ridley and Elba, the executive producers will be Patrick Spence and Katie Swinden for Fifty Fathoms, Tracy Underwood for ABC Signature and Michael McDonald for Stearns Castle. Yvonne Ibazebo will serve as producer for Fifty Fathoms and Shaheen Baig is the casting director.
Guerrilla joins 10 original drama series already on air or set to air in 2016 and 2017 on Sky Atlantic and Sky 1 in the UK & Ireland. These include Season 2 of Fortitude, alongside new series The Young Pope, Hooten & The Lady, Tin Star, Delicious, Riveria, The Four, Jamestown and The Last Dragonslayer.
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