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BBC Teams Up with Netflix for Drama Based on Lockerbie Bombing


Mon 31 Jul 2023 | 10:37 PM
Wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 after it crashed onto the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
Wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 after it crashed onto the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
Yara Sameh

A second major transatlantic drama series on the Lockerbie bombing terror attack is in the works, this time at the BBC and Netflix.

The British broadcaster and U.S. streamer will co-produce Lockerbie, a factual drama that explores the joint investigation into the 1988 disaster by Scottish and American authorities. Pan Am Flight 103 was en route from Heathrow to JFK when a bomb exploded in its hold over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people. It was the worst terror attack ever on British soil.

Line of Duty producer World Productions is making the six-part series in association with MGM Television and Night Train Media. It was developed by MGM and Night Train alongside filmmaker Adam Morane-Griffiths.

The BBC and Netflix commission comes more than a year after Sky and Peacock came together to greenlight a separate series, also titled "Lockerbie". The project was meant to premiere this year but has been delayed amid continued development.

Jim Sheridan, the Oscar-nominated director of My Left Foot, and daughter Kirsten Sheridan are writing the Sky/Peacock series, which centers on a family’s search for justice. Carnival Films is producing.

The "High Dive" novelist Jonathan Lee is writing the BBC/Netflix drama alongside Gillian Roger Park, who will pen two episodes. They will draw on extensive interviews done by Morane-Griffiths, who spoke to Scottish police and U.S. investigative agencies.

The series will also examine the bombing’s impact on the people of Lockerbie.

Michael Keillor (Best Interests) will direct. The executive producers are Simon Heath and Roderick Seligman for World; Steve Stark and Stacey Levin for Toluca Pictures; Adam Morane-Griffiths, Sara Curran, Herbert L. Kloiber, Keillor; and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC. The co-EP is Joe Hill.

Netflix drama commissioner Mona Qureshi said: “The moment we read Jonathan’s pilot script, informed by Adam’s meticulous research, we understood that this team had found a way into these events that is epic and intimate, local and global, personal and political. The devastation wrought on the night of 21st December 1988 continues to reverberate through the decades.”

BBC commissioner Holmes added: “We have the right team in place to tell this extraordinary story with the greatest of care, making sure the series reflects the devastating events of that night, the complex and far-reaching investigation that followed, and the effect it had on all those who lost loved ones.”