'Sherwood': What is the new must-see BBC drama? Who is in the all-star cast? Is it based on a true story?

·4-min read
The drama is inspired by real-life murders in Nottingham. (BBC)
The drama is inspired by real-life murders in Nottingham. (BBC)

Detective drama returns to BBC One with Sherwood, featuring a who's who of British TV in its starry cast.

But what is the real-life case the series is based on, and who can you expect to see in it?

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Here's all you need to know about the latest must-watch series.

When is Sherwood on TV?

The six-episode series begins on Monday, 13 June at 9pm on BBC One.

Sherwood continues on Tuesday, 14 June and then on Mondays and Tuesdays weekly afterwards.

Who stars in Sherwood?

David Morrissey and Robert Glenister co-star as detectives. (BBC)
David Morrissey and Robert Glenister co-star as detectives in Sherwood. (BBC)

The big-name cast features a huge number of recognisable stars.

Leading the series is David Morrissey (Britannia, The Missing, The Walking Dead) who plays DCS Ian St Clair who is investigating the murders.

Talking about the all-star cast, Morrissey said: "You just went, oh my god, they're in it as well! It was just phenomenal, everywhere you turned there were people who are just top of their game really. And that was wonderful.

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"I really had a lovely time, people like Adeel Akhtar, people I'd wanted to work with for years and people I've worked with before. It was pretty phenomenal on those big days when everybody played, it was so great."

Joanne Froggatt's character is up for local elections. (BBC)
Joanne Froggatt's character is up for local elections. (BBC)

He's joined by Lesley Manville (The Crown, Magpie Murders) who plays Julie Jackson, a miner's wife, and Robert Glenister (Law & Order: UK) as DI Kevin Salisbury.

Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar) plays would-be local councillor Sarah Vincent and Adeel Akhtar (Les Miserables, Four Lions) is train driver Andy Fisher.

The cast also includes Alun Armstrong, Claire Rushbrook, Kevin Doyle, Lorraine Ashbourne, Phillip Jackson, Perry Fitzpatrick, Adam Hugill, Terence Maynard, Lindsay Duncan and Stephen Tompkinson.

Is Sherwood based on a true story?

David Morrisey, Lesley Manville and Robert Glenister star. (BBC)
David Morrisey, Lesley Manville and Robert Glenister star. (BBC)

The series has been called genre-defying by its cast and writers, and although there are two murders being investigated, it's more than just a whodunnit.

Creator James Graham who grew up in the area of Nottinghamshire near Sherwood Forest has based the series both on a huge manhunt for two unconnected killers, and on the tensions in his community following the miners' strike.

He said: "It’s hugely personal to me and inspired in part by real events in my hometown in Nottinghamshire."

Adeel Akhtar plays a train driver. (BBC)
Adeel Akhtar plays a train driver. (BBC)

Graham added: "This isn’t a literal adaptation, these are fictional characters, but it is inspired by the many stories that that real events evoked in the community. Sherwood is lots of different stories tied together, but absolutely, I hope, a love letter to the place I grew up."

The community was divided by the miners' strike as the Nottinghamshire miners left the picket line and went back to work, while their nearby Yorkshire fellow miners stayed on strike - leading to deep-rooted tensions between the two groups.

The manhunt takes place in Sherwood Forest. (BBC)
The manhunt takes place in Sherwood Forest. (BBC)

Against that backdrop, police were hunting for two killers, as Manville explained: "It's a drama, but it is based on a true story of two real tragic killings. It was really rather extraordinary, because these deaths were not connected and yet both killers were hiding out in Sherwood Forest, and because of the density of Sherwood Forest, the police's heat-seeking aircraft could not find them, so it was a manhunt in this huge area."

Froggatt added that Graham's scripts were incredibly authentic for anyone from the area: "I lived in the Midlands for 10 years of my life and James is from the area, so he knows the sense of humour from that part of the country, and he hit that nail on the head."

Sherwood begins on Monday, 13 June at 9pm on BBC One.

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