Is there life after Spooks, Hustle, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes?


Thanks to the brilliant folks over at Kudos Film and TV, there will, definitely, be a brighter light at the end of the tunnel for quality drama on telly in 2013.

Sky1 HD has commissioned The Smoke, a new eight-part drama set in a London fire station from from Kudos Film and TV, the company behind Spooks, Hustle, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.

Written and created by Lucy Kirkwood (Skins), The Smoke will follow the lives of the members of White Watch and promises “bigger explosions and fires than any other British drama” but with a “strong emotional vein running through it“. Although I immediately think of the greatness of Rescue Me with Dennis O’Leary, In somewhat of a variation of Renee Zellweger’s classic line to Tom Cruise in Jerry Macguire, …you had me at ‘bigger explosions and fires’.

The series will have big shoes to fill, however, when it comes to a drama set in a fire station. Although it’s been 10 years since London’s Burning came to an end on ITV after a 14-year run, The Smoke will be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to creating a successful drama set in a fire station. That said, I’m thinking with their track record, Kudos will be up to the task.

The Smoke will follow the day to day lives of a crew in a London fire station. At the heart of the story will be a family of firemen and women who, no matter what, always have each other to fall back on. Many crew members are forced to hold down other jobs on the side, taking some of them into the city’s after dark world. The stakes are high but, in The Smoke, it’s the very lives and souls of the White Watch crew that are at risk.

Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, Sky, says “We wanted to bring a new, modern view of heroism to Sky 1 HD. The Smoke was a perfect fit. It has all the huge scale action and adrenaline that a show about fire can bring to the screen, but in Lucy’s hands there is also a beautiful depth and complexity to the characterisation. This is a show that asks real questions about what it means to be a man in today’s world.”

Production will start in early 2013 for transmission later in the year