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'SAS: Rogue Heroes': cast, plot, and everything we know

SAS: Rogue Heroes first look BBC.
'SAS: Rogue Heroes' is a thrilling adventure story. (Image credit: BBC)

SAS: Rogue Heroes is a major new BBC1 drama telling the story of how the world’s most famous Special Forces unit, the SAS, was born.

Based on Ben MacIntyre’s best-selling book, SAS: Rogue Heroes, the series will tell the remarkable tale of how the SAS came to exist in North Africa during World War Two.

Adapted by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, it will reveal how officer David Stirling (played by Connor Swindells), the founder of the legendary organisation, and his men changed warfare by attacking the enemy behind their own battle lines in a string of daring escapades.

As the Beeb puts it, the series will “delve into the psychology of the flawed, reckless but astonishingly brave group of maverick officers and men who formed the SAS in the darkest days of World War Two”.

Steven Knight added: “This will be a secret history telling the story of exceptional soldiers who decided battles and won wars only to then disappear back into the shadows.

"We will shine a light on remarkable true events informed by the people who shaped them.”

It promises to be one of the best BBC dramas of 2022, here's everything we know so far...

SAS: Rogue Heroes release date

SAS: Rogue Heroes will air on BBC1 and iPlayer later this year. 

What’s the plot of SAS: Rogue Heroes?

During World War Two, eccentric young officer David Stirling is hospitalised in Cairo, Egypt, after a training exercise accident. Bored, he starts thinking that the accepted war methods are wrong and hits on a radical plan.

He battles for permission to build a small undercover unit of tough, bold and bright soldiers who will attack behind enemy lines. The rebellious band then endeavour on a string of daring missions as they show astonishing bravery.

SAS: Rogue Heroes Cast

Connor Swindells (Sex Education) will play David Stirling, with Jack O’Connell (Skins) as Paddy Mayne, Alfie Allen (Jojo Rabbit) as Jock Lewes, and Sofia Boutella (Modern Love) as Eve. Dominic West (The Wire) will play Lieutenant Colonel Wrangel Clarke.

Connor Swindells says: “I feel tremendously honoured to be joining this series with such a talented group of people. Portraying such an interesting man is incredibly exciting and I feel very lucky to be able to do so. It’s going to be an amazing ride.”

Steven Knight adds: “I’m really excited to be gathering together the very best of a new generation of British and International talent to tell this remarkable story. The people who are depicted and who did such extraordinary things were young, in their 20s, and we have made a conscious decision to cast people of the same age. We enter this project with a spirit of adventure and believe our young and talented actors will do justice to this period of history.”

Further casting announced includes Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk, The King) as SAS founding member Mike Sadler. Plus The Crown's Jason Watkins will also enjoy a leading role.

We've now gotten our first look at some of the cast in action with some brand-new images.

Is there a trailer?

Ahead of the final episode of Peaky Blinders season 6, the BBC finally gave us a first look at Steven Knight's next show with this teaser trailer, and it looks set to be just as action-packed as Peaky was! 

If this short clip is anything to go by, we should expect plenty of shocking stunts, parachute jumps, shoot-outs and explosions. Check it out below:

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.

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!