Peacock has announced the premiere date of the upcoming six-part drama The Undeclared War starring Mark Rylance. The show is from Peter Kosminsky, with the seven-time BAFTA winner writing and directing the series. Peacock and U.K.’s Channel 4 both co-commissioned the series and all episodes will be released in August.
The series delves into the challenges faced by most democratic nations as it is set in the post-pandemic world of 2024 in the UK. The British are on the verge of a general election featuring the nation’s first Black Conservative prime minister and the GCHQ, the UK’s answer to the NSA is tasked with wading off a cyber attack aimed at the nation’s electoral system. Rylance plays John Yeabsley, a former GCHQ asset who is brought back to help his former colleagues deal with the new threat. Alongside him is Danny Patrick (Simon Pegg), GCHQ’s head of operations, and together they are set to face this looming threat. Pegg is one of Britain’s finest actors, and we can be assured he would bring a dynamic approach to his role.
Set at the very heart of the show, however, is 21-year-old Saara Parvan (Hannah Khalique-Brown), an intern in GCHQ’s Malware Department who during a routine stress test of internet infrastructure uncovers a new threat to the nation. Other members of the cast for this thrilling series include Alex Jennings as Head of GCHQ David Neal and Kathy Freeman (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), an American cyber-analyst attaché from the NSA to GCHQ to help with the crisis.
Director Kosminsky put a great deal of effort into the research work needed to produce this series, spending three years with intelligence experts from the UK and the US. The aim was to paint as realistic a picture of the intelligence field of the Western world and cast a light on what is a new battlefield emerging in cyberspace. Kosminsky had this to say about the series:
“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.”
Kosminsky will serve alongside Colin Callender and Noëlette Buckley as executive producers. Declan Lawn, Adam Patterson, Amelia Spencer collaborated as writers on the show with Kosminsky writing four of the six episodes. Robert Jones serves as producer. The show is co-produced by Playground and Universal International Studios.
The Undeclared War premieres on August 18 on Peacock.