‘The Durrells’ star joins cast of BBC’s new Cold War thriller ‘Summer of Rockets’

The cast has been announced for acclaimed TV dramatist and playwright Stephen Poliakoff’s new semi-autobiographical drama series.

Summer of Rockets is set in the UK during the Cold War period and tumultuous year of 1958, as Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb and the Soviets launch their first ballistic missile, beating the Americans by successfully sending a Satellite into space.

The six 60-minute episodes will be written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff (Dancing on the Edge, The Lost Prince).

The cast will be led by Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) and Toby Stephens (Lost In Space).

They’ll be joined by Timothy Spall (Mr Turner), Linus Roache (Vikings), Lily Sacofsky (Bancroft), Lucy Cohu (Ripper Street), Gary Beadle (Grantchester), Mark Bonnar (Line of Duty), Ronald Pickup (The Crown), Rose Ayling-Ellis (Reverberations) and Greg Austin (Mr Selfridge).

Keeley Hawes commented: “I have wanted to work with Stephen for years, so I’m delighted to be part of such a wonderful cast, and can’t wait to spend the summer with them all.”

Toby Stephens added: “It’s great to be working with Stephen Poliakoff again after such a long time. I loved working with him on Perfect Strangers; he’s such a unique and original voice in British television. It’s also good to be filming something back home in the UK for the BBC. It’s been a while.”

Summer of Rockets began filming in and around London and Oxford earlier this summer, and is expected to air on BBC Two this autumn.

Keeley Hawes starts filming a fourth season of The Durrells later this year.