BBC2 has unveiled a series of new titles across factual, arts, comedy and drama.
Patrick Holland, controller of BBC2, announced the commissions as part of the Edinburgh International Television Festival on Wednesday morning (Aug. 23). Holland took the stage along with other BBC2 execs to share insights into the broadcaster’s commissioning process and preview exclusive clips.
On tap is Icons: The Story of the 20th Century, an interactive history series that will explore the story of the 20th century through the people who made it. Produced by 72 Films in partnership with the Open University, this 8 x 60-minute series will be executive produced by David Glover and Mark Raphael.
Other new doc series include Inside the Foreign Office, which will go behind the scenes of the Foreign and Commonwealth offices. The 3 x 60-minute doc will be made by BBC Studios, where the executive producers will be Aysha Rafaele, creative director, documentary unit, and Shona Thompson.
Elsewhere, Army: Behind the New Frontlines (pictured) follows British soldiers over one year as they operate across the globe, tackling terrorism in Iraq during the battle to liberate Mosul. With intimate access to all ranks from the Head of the British Army to new recruits, these three films will explore the multiple roles the British Army fulfill in some of the most troubled parts of the world. The series will be produced by Wild Pictures and was commissioned by Holland and Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, BBC Documentaries.
BBC2 has also commissioned a doc profiling American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat: Rage to Riches will feature the late artist’s sisters, who have never spoken before about their brother on television.
“It has been an exhilarating year on BBC2 with major new series like Hospital commanding headlines and standout pieces like King Charles III, Muslims Like Us and Top Of The Lake winning critical praise,” said Holland in a statement.
“These new commissions demonstrate my ambition for BBC2 — to bring the increasingly complex and changing world to the audience through challenging perspectives, human engagement and great storytelling,” he continued.