The Village

Company Pictures for BBC, episodes 5 and 6
Producer: Emma Burge
Writer: Peter Moffat
Cast: Maxine Peake, John Simm, Nico Mirallegro, Juliet Stevenson
Antonia Bird, who I had known for many years and who has sadly since died, did the first four episodes of THE VILLAGE. Producer Emma Burge, who had asked me to do TROJAN EDDIE many years before, invited me to take on episodes 5 and 6. The final two episodes had a very different tone to the first four and so Antonia and I really didn’t worry about discussing consistency of style, as it was obvious we would both do the episodes in our own ways. Instead we discussed the catering and other social issues. Even the music, composed by Adrian Corker, was approached in a very different way on 5 and 6. I say this to affirm that, if programme makers want to work with film makers, it is best to give them the space to establish their own style as, finally, the BBC seemed very happy with the outcome of series 1.
Episode 5, where Joe returns from the trenches traumatised, was a gift for me and I loved working closely with Nico on how to stage his scenes, how to get into that state of mind where the scene in hand would look after itself. The final scene was wild to shoot and I will never forget Maxine tearing across the mud like a wildcat to save her children from the armed military policemen. That rush of energy brought everything and everyone up to the bar and sealed a scene I am still proud of.

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