Two ‘Downton Abbey’ stars reunite in new BBC crime drama ‘Sherwood’

An incredible cast of familiar faces has been assembled for the BBC’s Sherwood.

From the director of David Tennant’s Des and Sean Bean’s Time, the new six-part series recently began filming in Nottinghamshire, England.

BBC One’s latest crime drama will reunite Joanne Froggatt and Kevin Doyle from Downton Abbey.

The pair played Anna Bates and Mr Molesley in ITV’s hit period drama series.

They’ll be joined in Sherwood by Lesley Manville (World on Fire), Robert Glenister (Hustle), and David Morrissey (Britannia).

The cast also includes Adeel Akhtar (Victoria & Abdul), Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks), Perry Fitzpatrick (Line of Duty), Lorraine Ashbourne (Bridgerton), and Alun Armstrong (New Tricks).

Described as “a compelling, contemporary crime drama,” Sherwood is inspired in part by real events and set in the Nottinghamshire mining village where writer James Graham grew up.

At the heart of the series lie two shocking and unexpected killings that shatter an already fractured community and spark a massive manhunt.

As suspicion and antipathy build – both between lifelong neighbours and towards the police forces who descend on the town – the tragic killings threaten to inflame historic divisions sparked during the miners’ strike three decades before.

Sherwood will look at the controversial deployment of so-called ‘spycops’ around Britain, telling “a distinctly human story of a community forced to re-examine the terrible events of decades ago, for which it still bears the scars.”

The show will be “a powerfully resonant and timely examination of the frayed social and political fabric of modern day, post-Brexit Britain.”

It’ll explore “some of the most urgent fractures and discords threaded through modern British society.”

The official synopsis reads: “Detective Chief Superintendent Ian St Clair (David Morrissey), is a lifer in the Nottinghamshire constabulary, having risen through the ranks. Canny and a good judge of character, he is a formidable and empathetic detective with an impressive track record to prove it.

“When he is tasked with finding the link between these two killings, he is forced to reunite with DI Kevin Salisbury, an old rival from the Metropolitan Police, whose return to the town threatens heightens the already febrile tensions running through the community.

“Detective Inspector Kevin Salisbury (Robert Glenister) has little desire to return to Ashfield. There are too many reminders of what happened in 1984, and he’s unlikely to get the warmest of welcomes from the local police force nor the local community. But he has orders to follow, and he’s determined to prove that he stands for honour and integrity.

“Gary Jackson (Alun Armstrong) is a committed NUM member and one of the few miners from Ashfield on the picket line in the 80s. He won’t let anyone forget it, even decades later, which sets him at odds with his neighbours. His wife, Julie Jackson (Lesley Manville), estranged from her sister Cathy over their divided loyalties during the miners’ strike, is as stubborn as her husband, but fiercely proud of the warm household she has created for her family.

“Mickey Sparrow (Philip Jackson) is an entrepreneur, proud of his portfolio which includes an axe throwing range and taxi firm. However, as much of the town suspects, most of his income comes from other, less-legal means. So, when suspicion points to the Sparrow family, Mickey’s empire comes under threat.

“Daphne Sparrow (Lorraine Ashbourne) is the matriarch. Forthright and fearless she will do whatever it takes to protect her family. When everything and everyone she holds dear comes under threat, it becomes apparent just how far Daphne will go for them, including her son, Rory (Perry Fitzpatrick).

“Cathy Rowley (Claire Rushbrook) has always lived slightly in her sister’s shadow. The miners’ strike tore the pair apart when Cathy fell in love with UDM working miner Fred Rowley (Kevin Doyle), a quiet and reserved man. Her relationship with her introverted and deeply private stepson Scott (Adam Hugill) is also strained. But when tragedy strikes close to home, Cathy is forced to reckon with the woman she has become, and the dark secrets that have been hidden behind closed doors.

Andy Fisher (Adeel Akhtar) is a delicate and shy man who lost his wife years ago and has struggled to cope with that loss, ever since. He leans on his son Neel (Bally Gill) for emotional support, and though Neel is much obliging, Andy feels like he’s losing his son to his son’s fiancée Sarah (Joanne Froggatt), who struggles to hide how uncomfortable she is in her soon-to-be father-in-law’s company.

“And it’s not just the arrival of the Met police which stirs up old memories. With the reappearance in the town of Yorkshireman and staunch NUM member Warnock (Stephen Tompkinson) new seeds of suspicion surrounding the events from 1984 are sown when he alludes to activity of the Met Police’s undercover police unit during the strikes.”

Here’s the first official look at Sherwood:

Sherwood will air on BBC One in the UK in 2022.

Joanne Froggatt and Kevin Doyle are both expected to return in the upcoming Downton Abbey sequel.

The movie began shooting earlier this year, although it recently had its release date delayed.

Froggatt’s new ITV drama Angela Black is also set to premiere in the UK this autumn.

Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection box set is available on DVD on Amazon.