‘Lockerbie’ TV drama about 1988 bombing coming to Netflix and BBC

The BBC and Netflix have announced a new series titled Lockerbie.

It’ll be based on the real events surrounding the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the joint Scots-US investigation which sought to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The six-part factual drama will produced by World Productions, the company behind last year’s Hillsborough drama Anne, and 2011’s United, which told the story of the 1958 Munich air crash.

Both of these previous series were sensitively handled, and research for Lockerbie includes extensive interviews with Scottish police officers and representatives from United States investigative agencies, sharing their stories for the first time.

The BBC’s Commissioning Editor, Gaynor Holmes has reassured viewers that the story will be told “with the greatest of care, making sure the series reflects the devastating events of that night, the complex and far-reaching investigation that followed and the effect it had on all those who lost loved ones.”

Lockerbie is being written by acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Jonathan Lee, alongside Scottish writer Gillian Roger Park.

“The Pan Am 103 Disaster and the global manhunt it spawned was a defining event in world history – one that contains so many instances of resilience and courage that deserve to be honoured and understood,” commented writer Jonathan Lee. “It’s a privilege to write this story for the screen.”

The official synopsis for the series reads: “On 21st December 1988, flight Pan Am 103 was en route from Heathrow to JFK when a bomb exploded in its hold over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people, including 43 British citizens and 190 Americans.

“It was the worst ever terror attack on British soil and the first major one on US citizens.

Lockerbie will focus on the investigation into the crash on both sides of the Atlantic and the devastating effect it had on the small town and the families who lost loved ones.

“From the initial exhaustive search for evidence on the ground in Scotland, via the US and Malta to the trial at Camp Zeist in 2000, the drama takes us right up to the most recent indictment at the end of 2022.”

Netflix’s Mona Qureshi has described the series as “epic and intimate, local and global, personal and political.”

“The devastation wrought on the night of 21st December 1988 continues to reverberate through the decades,” she said.

“Netflix is proud to partner with the BBC to bring a true story that feels as raw and urgent as ever, to audiences in the UK and across the world,” added Qureshi.

Lockerbie is expected to premiere in 2024 on BBC One and streaming on iPlayer in the UK, then later on Netflix in the UK and around the world.

Filming will begin in Scotland, Malta and Toronto later this year, directed by Michael Keillor (Line of Duty, Roadkill).