Starring Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen, upcoming BBC drama Best Interests follows a couple who are forced to make an impossible decision about the best interests of their daughter.
Are you watching anything good on telly right now? Well, if you’ve been glued to the painfully funny medical drama This Is Going To Hurt, the final season of Killing Eve or the harrowing fictionalised exposé Life And Death In The Warehouse, then the answer will no doubt be a resounding yes.
Happily, there are plenty of gripping new BBC dramas in the pipeline, including the emotional new series Marriage, the upcoming adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s bestselling novel Life After Life, the uplifting 90s disability rights drama Then Barbara Met Alan and the highly anticipated adaptation of Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love.
As any fan of a BBC drama will know, real life often makes for the most gripping and relatable television, and the upcoming four-part series Best Interests looks to be no different.
Starring the mighty Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan, the new BBC One drama from Bafta-winning writer and disability rights advocate Jack Thorne (Help, His Dark Materials, The Virtues) tells a story of a family driven apart by having to make choices no parent would ever want to make.
Sheen and Horgan play married couple Nicci and Andrew, who have two daughters: Katie, played by Alison Oliver (Conversation With Friends) and Marnie, played by Niamh Moriarty (A Christmas Carol), who has a life-threatening condition.
“The doctors believe it is in her best interests to be allowed to die, but her loving family disagree,” reads the official synopsis. “And so begins a fight that will take them through every stage of a legal process, as they struggle to contemplate this huge decision.
The cast also includes Noma Dumezweni (The Undoing) as Samantha, Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City) as Mercy, Des McAleer (Hope Street) as Eddie, Mat Fraser (His Dark Materials) as Greg, Gary Beadle (Grantchester) as Frank, Jack Morris (Strike) as Tom, Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard) as Judge Spottiswood, Shane Zaza (Happy Valley) as Fred, Lucian Msamati (Gangs Of London) as Derek and Lisa McGrillis (Mum) as Brenda.
“Best Interests broke me when I first read the script and then again after talking with Jack about it,” said Horgan. “Covid seems to have shone a closer light on the desperate inequalities that exist for our disabled community so this felt very timely. It’s a big subject but it’s in Jack Thorne and Michael Keillor’s safe hands. I’m thrilled to be working on this story with a super talented cast, the wonderful Michael Sheen and Noma Dumezweni, and my gorgeous daughters Alison Oliver and Niamh Moriarty.”
“Jack Thorne is such an extraordinary writer and he has approached this incredibly important and urgent subject with humanity, honesty and humour,” said Sheen. “I feel very fortunate to be part of this production and to work with the brilliant Sharon Horgan and some of the most talented actors around.”
Jack Thorne added that while Best Interests shines a light on the UK’s “troubled relationship with disability”, the drama is primarily a love story.
“Our drama is first and foremost a love story and it needs incredible actors to bring it to life,” he commented. “Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen lead a company of ridiculous talents that pull you into the most interesting of places. I’m so grateful to be working with them, Chapter One, Michael Keillor and a very brilliant crew.”
While there’s no word on a release date just yet, filming is currently underway in London with the series expected to air next year on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. We’ll keep you posted.
Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.