Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, Adrian Lester to star in Channel 4’s The Undeclared War
James R | On 29, Apr 2021
Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg and Adrian Lester will star in The Undeclared War, Peter Kosminsky’s new Channel 4 drama.
The Wolf Hall writer’s six-part thriller reunites Kosminsky with Emmy Award-winning producer Colin Callender and his production company Playground, producers of Wolf Hall, which Kosminsky also directed, and the recent hit series All Creatures Great and Small.
Set in a post-pandemic 2024 in the run up to a British general election, The Undeclared War tracks a leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ (the UK’s version of the NSA) secretly working to ward off a cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system. During a three-year research process, Kosminsky and his team gained access to the cyber security industry on both sides of the Atlantic, allowing a realistic picture of the threat faced by the Western world to be depicted in the drama.
Exciting newcomer Hannah Khalique-Brown will play Saara Parvan, a young student doing work experience in the GCHQ Malware Department, with Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Mission Impossible) playing Danny Patrick, GCHQ’s Head of Operations, Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, Bridge of Spies) playing John Yeabsley, a Cold War veteran brought back from retirement by GCHQ to combat the heightened threat level, and Adrian Lester (Riviera, Mary Queen of Scots) will play Andrew Makinde, the UK’s first Black Conservative Prime Minister.
Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will play Kathy Freeman, an American cyber-analyst on attachment at GCHQ from the NSA. Alex Jennings (A Very English Scandal, The Crown) will play David Neal, the Head of GCHQ.
Kosminsky says; “The series is based deep within the least-known arm of the UK’s intelligence infrastructure, GCHQ. The story we’re now able to tell casts an extraordinary, revelatory light on the hot, undeclared war taking place right now in the world’s newest and most invisible domain of conflict – cyber.”
He will direct all six episodes and has written four. Other writers include Declan Lawn (The Salisbury Poisonings), Adam Patterson (The Salisbury Poisonings) and Amelia Spencer (Dead Birds).