New four-part true crime drama The Sixth Commandment begins on BBC One tonight, after filming in Bristol with support from our Film Office team last year.
Written by Sarah Phelps (A Very British Scandal, The Pale Horse) and produced by Wild Mercury Productions (a Banijay UK Company) and True Vision Productions, The Sixth Commandment explores the deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin in the village of Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire, and the extraordinary events that unfolded over the following years.
Filming took place in and around Bristol, where Bristol Film Office assisted at locations including Blaise Estate, Flax Bourton Mortuary, South Bristol Crematorium, Circomedia on Portland Square – which features as one of the churches – and street scenes in Westbury on Trym. Filming also took place in and around Bath, Clevedon and Keynsham.
The drama was made in full cooperation with members of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin’s families. Its distinguished cast includes Timothy Spall (Mr Turner, Spencer), Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax, Sanditon, Dinner Ladies), Éanna Hardwicke (Lakelands, Normal People), Annabel Scholey (The Split, The Salisbury Poisonings), Sheila Hancock (Unforgotten, A Discovery of Witches, Great Canal Journeys), Ben Bailey Smith (The Split, Andor), Conor MacNeill (Industry), Adrian Rawlins (Baptiste, Chernobyl) and Amanda Root (Summerland, Unforgotten).
The Sixth Commandment tells the story of how the meeting of an inspirational teacher, Peter Farquhar (Timothy Spall), and a charismatic student, Ben Field (Éanna Hardwicke), set the stage for one of the most complex and confounding criminal cases in recent memory. It also focuses on how suspicions around Field’s relationship with Ann Moore-Martin (Anne Reid), Peter’s deeply religious neighbour, unlocked a series of chilling revelations.
The drama explores the way in which both Peter and Ann were manipulated by Field, capturing the extreme gaslighting, the gripping police investigation and the high-profile trial, while poignantly highlighting the devastating effect of isolation and loneliness, as Field closed in on them. It also celebrates both Peter and Ann’s lives as cherished mentors, much loved relatives and adored friends.
Episode one of The Sixth Commandment airs on BBC One on Monday, July 17, with episode two airing the next day. Episodes three and four will air on Monday, July 24 and Tuesday, July 25, with all episodes being available on iPlayer.