Red, White and Blue starring John Boyega - release date, plot and all you need to know

Red, White and Blue starring John Boyega
(Image credit: BBC/McQueen Limited/Will Robson-Scott)

Red, White and Blue sees Boyega play a police officer

Red, White and Blue - featuring Star Wars actor John Boyega - is a new BBC1 drama which is part of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe season of films.

The Small Axe collection compromises of Mangrove, Lovers Rock, Education, Alex Wheatle and Red, White and Blue.

Each of the films by the Oscar winning filmmaker are set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s and tell a story involving London’s West Indian community.

Steve McQueen explains: “The seed of Small Axe was sown 11 years ago. Initially, I had conceived of it as a TV series, but I realised these stories had to stand alone as original films, yet at the same time be part of a collective. The anthology, anchored in the West Indian experience in London, is a celebration of all that that community has succeeded in achieving against the odds.

“Although all five films take place between the late 1960s and mid-80s, they are just as much a comment on the present moment as they were then. They are about the past, yet they are very much concerned with the present. A commentary on where we were, where we are and where we want to go.”

Red, White and Blue release date on BBC1

John Boyea is Leroy in Red, White and Blue

John Boyega as Leroy

The film will be shown on Sunday 29th November on BBC1.

What happens in Red, White and Blue?

The drama tells the true story of Leroy Logan (played by Star Wars actor John Boyega). Leroy is a young forensic scientist who wants to escape his solitary lab work. Leroy’s life changes when he sees his father assaulted by two policemen.

He remembers his childhood ambition to be a police officer and decides to join. Leroy is driven naively by the idea that he can change racists attitudes from within the force. But his father doesn’t approve of his decision to join the police and he then experiences blatant racism in his new role. And this is despite the fact that he is an exemplary Constable in the Metropolitan Police Force.

MORE: Everything you need to know about ITV thriller The Sister

Who’s in the drama?

As well as John Boyega the cast also features Prince of Persia actor Steve Toussaint. Plus newcomers Tyrone Huntley, Nathan Vidal and Jaden Oshenye.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there's a trailer for the Small Axe collection and in it we see Leroy in several brief glimpses from Red, White and Blue.

What else do we know?

Red, White and Blue was co-written by Courttia Newland and Steve McQueen.

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 working for 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 for 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.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!