New BBC1 thriller Hard Sun inspired by David Bowie song, reveals creator

Hard Sun inspired by David Bowie song

Creator Neil Cross has revealed part Bowie song played in thriller Hard Sun, which starts on BBC1 on Saturday

Neil Cross, the man behind BBC1’s new sci-fi drama Hard Sun, had said he found the inspiration for his "pre-apocalyptic thriller" while listening to David Bowie’s song Five Years.

Hard Sun sees DCI Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess) and his new partner DI Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn) discovering some top-secret intelligence about an extinction-level event that will wipe out life on Earth in five years time.

Luther creator Neil revealed: ‘‘The David Bowie song Five Years was the inspiration. The narrator has learned the world has got only five years left. In lesser hands it could have been nihilistic and maudlin, but in fact it becomes a celebration of everyday things.

“In the light of the inevitability of its destruction, everything suddenly is afforded infinite value.”

Neil added that to make sure the sci-fi aspect of the six-part series was believable he enlisted the help of Professor Brian Cox, who had previously been a consultant on Danny Boyle’s 2007 film Sunshine, in which a dying Sun puts Earth at risk.

“We wanted to make sure the sci-fi in the show is grounded in some kind of science fact,” he said.

“I like to read popular cosmology to relax. There’s a poetry and grandeur to it, and a sense of cosmic horror – the sheer vastness of the cosmos and how that corresponds to our small but still meaningful lives.

“We don’t reveal what the Hard Sun event is – and all the way through we are asking: “What is Hard Sun?” And according to Cox, it’s unlikely but possible.”

Hard Sun beings on BBC1 on Saturday at 9.35pm.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

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