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New drama acquisitions announced for the BBC - The Last Wave and The Secrets She Keeps



Press Release

The BBC has today announced The Secrets She Keeps and The Last Wave, two new scripted acquisitions for the BBC.
The Secrets She Keeps is a 6x60' Lingo Pictures series adaptation of author Michael Robotham’s best-selling novel of the same name acquired from DCD Rights written by Sarah Walker and Jonathan Gavin. The contemporary dramatic noir stars Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey, Marcella, The Spanish Princess) as Agatha Fyfle, Jessica de Gouw (The Crown, Vienna Blood, The Hunting) as Meghan Shaughnessy and Michael Dorman (For All Mankind, Patriot, Wonderland) as Jack Shaughnessy.

Everyone has an idea of what their 'perfect' life is. For Agatha, it's Meghan Shaughnessy's. These two women from two vastly different walks of life hold one thing in common - explosive secrets that could destroy everything they hold dear. Both will risk everything to
conceal the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in one shocking act that cannot be
undone.

The Last Wave is a 6x60' supernatural French drama created by Raphaëlle Roudaut (Un fils, Match Day) and Alexis Le Sec and acquired from Fremantle’s acclaimed scripted producers, Kwai.

It’s set during a surfing competition in Biarritz when a huge ominous cloud takes over the sky. As the cloud and sea meet, a jaw-dropping 3km wave appears, engulfing all the participants. As the days pass, the mystery deepens when the surfers begin to return home dazed and confused, with no memory of where they have been or what happened to them.

Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says: “The Secrets She Keeps is an emotionally-charged psychological thriller, full of surprise twists and turns, and The Last Wave is a supernatural eco-thriller where an idyllic setting is the backdrop for mysterious events. The two series are clearly very different, but both are utterly compelling and guaranteed to keep the audience gripped until the very end.”


The Secrets She Keeps

In an affluent Sydney suburb, two women have a chance encounter in a supermarket. They are the same age, both pregnant and due to give birth at the same time. Agatha works in the supermarket as a shelf-stacker whilst Meghan is a 'mummy blogger' on the rise.

Although they live in roughly the same part of the city, they come from different worlds - their lives on radically different trajectories. Agatha subsists just above the poverty line in a grubby flat with few real friends. She immigrated to Katoomba (on the outskirts of Sydney) from the UK with her family when she was 14 but has no real connection to her Jehovah’s Witness mother who still lives there. The father of her baby, Hayden, whom Agatha had a brief relationship is a sailor serving on HMAS Sutherland. He is oblivious that he has a child on the way.

Meghan is comfortably upper middle class. Her husband, Jack, an ambitious TV sports reporter, is often recognised at the pub. We meet Agatha first, and we see Meghan initially through her eyes. There is something off balance about Agatha. She’s not exactly dishonest, but she watches Meghan with the gaze of a voyeur who has a disturbing, covetous streak.

After engineering a situation intended to get closer to Meghan which involves her toddler son Agatha succeeds in ingratiating herself to Meghan and the pair begin to begin an unlikely friendship.

Agatha is both impressed and irritated by the beautiful Meghan with her glamorous partner, her blog and her two kids. Why can’t she have that life? Agatha’s envious obsession with Meghan escalates into full-blown stalking. She hides in Meghan’s backyard, spying on her perfect life, gathering information on her new friend in attempts to get closer to her. She lies to Meghan about
her past and it starts to emerge that perhaps Agatha has done all of this before...

Drip-fed throughout the story, we find that Agatha has a secret, dark past when it comes to new born babies. And with history threatening to repeat itself, not all is as it seems regarding Agatha’s own pregnancy.

But Meghan too is hiding secrets and when Agatha begins to enact her awful plan, Meghan is faced with admitting her transgression. Both women’s lives are set to implode.

Inspired by a real-life hospital kidnap incident from the 1990s, The Secrets She Keeps is an adroit look at the media feeding frenzy that surrounds such cases. It is a taut thriller as well as a sociological portrait of a society where cupidity, stupidity and fame often coalesce to make a toxic brew.

The Secrets She Keeps is a 6x60' Lingo Pictures series acquired from DCD Rights written by Sarah Walker and Jonathan Gavin. It was acquired by Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, it is Produced by Lingo Pictures’ Helen Bowden and the Executive Producer is Jason Stephens. Lingo Pictures is a leading Australian independent production company, whose recent projects include the comedy drama Upright, starring Tim Minchin, which was broadcast in the UK to acclaim late last year, and Lambs of God, which won a record number of AACTA (Australian Academy) Awards in 2019.


The Last Wave

The Last Wave is set during a surfing competition in Biarritz when a huge ominous cloud takes over the sky. As the cloud and sea meet, a jaw-dropping 3km wave appears, engulfing all the participants. As the days pass, the mystery deepens when the surfers begin to return home dazed and confused, with no memory of where they have been or what happened to them.

One by one, the returning surfers discover that they have been changed by the event and each possess exceptional and inexplicable powers. With the town united in fear, waiting for another wave to strike, scientist Ben Lebon makes an amazing discovery concerning the mysterious cloud hovering over the ocean: a discovery that has far-reaching consequence for all of Brizan’s residents.

The Last Wave is a 6x60' Kwai series acquired from Fremantle written by Raphaëlle Rondaut, Alexis Le Sec, Sophie Hiet. It was acquired by Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition. It is directed by Rodolphe Tissot, it is Produced by Stéphanie Carrère and Thomas Bourguignon.

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