Danny Boy: BBC teases new war drama film

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

BBC’s Danny Boy explores Brian’s (played by Anthony Boyle) journey from praised hero to being accused of war crimes in Iraq by determined human rights lawyer Phil Shiner (Toby Jones). The public inquiry which followed, the Al-Swady inquiry, was one of the biggest Britain has seen. In the BBC drama, the human experience behind the headlines is told, and writer Robert Jones spoke to Express.co.uk and other publications about talking to the real-life Brian to create an authentic picture of what happened.

Talking about the privilege of telling stories based on truth, Robert said: “One thing I was very aware of before meeting Brian was just the sense that we were sort of delving into a story that had become a defining sequence in his life because the ramifications were so huge.

“That comes with a lot of responsibility for us as storytellers – as to how we sort of be honest with that and get into that.”

He added: “The first thing Brian said to me when we first started talking about the storytelling was, ‘I was 22,’ so his youth, how young he was when this thing happened to him, really caught me.

“And the fact he was still sensing that how young he was when he went into that sequence.”

Memory, evidence and trauma collide in the series as Brian finds himself caught on the fine line between war and unlawful killing. After his service in Iraq and years of legal investigation, will he ever be able to look his family in the eye again and be the husband, father, and son they need him to be?

The drama is a thought-provoking story that explores many such questions through the eyes of all involved.

Danny explained: “I think also the fact that what I came to realise was that the British troops were there as peacekeepers, they weren’t there to fight.

“And yet they were being drawn into conflict all the time, so the soldiers are going out there thinking, ‘well, we’re going to go into this situation where we’re going to try and maintain order’ and in actual fact, a much, much darker and much more full-on battle was raging between forces.

“So I think those two things really stuck with me.”

He added that Brian ended up being on set with the team during the battle scenes to assist with filming.

“It was really fascinating,” Robert said. “I really loved meeting him.

“It was an honour to have his help in telling the story, but at the same time, you’re always worried about how Anthony and him would interface.

“Because Anthony’s got the responsibility to live this story and that can be quite difficult when you’re in the presence of someone that’s actually lived it.

“So we kept Brian’s involvement to the battle scenes and into the military process and he was extraordinary – his attention to detail and the way he helped us was just incredible.”

Robert went on to say how the Covid-19 pandemic made filming difficult.

Director Sam Miller expanded on this, explaining: “We filmed it [the war scenes] in Buckinghamshire at a chalk mine.

“We never could have gone abroad within the Covid framework, there was absolutely no way.”

He also explained that the team weren’t allowed to use any extras due to the restrictions, so they had the added issue of the background set looking empty.

Fortunately, clever camerawork and the cast meant there were ways around it.

Danny Boy airs on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC Two.

Source: Read Full Article