‘SAS: Rogue Heroes’ first look: ‘Peaky Blinders’ writer returns with new WW2 drama

The first photos have been revealed for the BBC’s upcoming SAS period drama.

Written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, the action-packed new TV show tells how the world’s most renowned and ruthless Special Forces unit, the SAS, came to exist.

SAS: Rogue Heroes is set during darkest days of the Second World War, and was filmed on location in the UK and Morocco earlier this year.

Based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book Rogue Heroes, the six-part series is described as “the exhilarating story of renegade men taking monumental risks in extraordinary circumstances.”

Leading the cast are Connor Swindells (Sex Education) as David Stirling, Jack O’Connell (Skins) as Paddy Mayne, Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) as Jock Lewes, and Sofia Boutella (Atomic Blonde) as Eve.

They’re joined by Dominic West (The Wire) as Lieutenant Colonel Wrangel Clarke, Miles Jupp (The Durrells), Amir El Masry (Industry), Theo Barklem-Biggs (Carnival Row), Corin Silva (The Bay), Jacob Ifan (The Accident), Dónal Finn (Cursed), Jacob McCarthy (The Last Summer), and Michael Schaeffer (Chernobyl).

It’s now been announced that Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk) will be playing SAS founding member Mike Sadler.

A number of additional cast members have also been confirmed, including Jason Watkins (The Crown), Stuart Campbell (Baptiste), Ralph Davis (Small Axe), Bobby Schofield (Time), Virgile Bramly (Grand Hotel), Tom Hygreck (La Garçonne), Paul Boche (SOKO Potsdam), David Alcock, Moritz Jahn (Dark), Arthur Orcier (J’irai où tu iras), Jordy Lagbre, Adrian Lukis (Feel Good), Anthony Calf (Poldark), Isobel Laidler (The Witcher), and Ian Davies (Game of Thrones).

With the shoot now complete, executive producer Karen Wilson commented: “We’re incredibly excited to give the world a first look at our Rogue Heroes.”

She added: “A huge thank you to the series’ peerless cast and crew for bringing Steven Knight’s ambitious, extraordinary scripts to life with such skill and style.”

SAS: Rogue Heroes writer and executive producer Steven Knight said: “It has been a privilege to work on a project which tells the story of a renegade band of soldiers who used wit and imagination as much as firepower to halt the march of Fascism across North Africa during the darkest days of World War Two.”

Hinting at what viewers should expect, he teased: “This is a war story like no other, told in a way that is at once inspired by the facts and true to the spirit of this legendary brigade of misfits and adventurers.”

The official synopsis reads: “Cairo, 1941. David Stirling (Connor Swindells) – an eccentric young officer, hospitalised after a training exercise went wrong – is bored.

“Convinced that traditional commando units don’t work, he creates a radical plan that flies in the face of all accepted rules of modern warfare. He fights for permission to recruit the toughest, boldest and brightest soldiers for a small undercover unit that will create mayhem behind enemy lines.

“More rebels than soldiers, Stirling’s team are every bit as complicated, flawed and reckless as they are astonishingly brave and heroic.”

SAS: Rogue Heroes will premiere in the UK on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2022.

A broadcaster in the US hasn’t yet been announced.

The series was directed by Tom Shankland (The SerpentThe Missing) and produced by Stephen Smallwood (Patrick MelroseThe Serpent).

The final season of Steven Knight’s Peaky Blinders is also set to finally arrive early next year, following delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’ll be followed by a Peaky Blinders movie in 2023!

Ben Macintyre’s book Rogue Heroes is available on Amazon.