'The Gallows Pole' — cast, plot, and all we know about Shane Meadows' new period drama

The Gallows Pole
(Image credit: C4)

A stellar cast will star in The Gallows Pole, Shane Meadows' first-ever period drama, which is due to arrive on BBC1 next year. 

The acclaimed screenwriter, whose previous hits include This Is England and The Virtues, will be adapting Benjamin Myers' novel set in 18th century Yorkshire for a highly-anticipated six-part series. Here's everything we know about the upcoming drama...

The Gallows Pole release date

Filming is already underway in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire so we're expecting this one to hit our screens in 2022. When BBC1 confirm an official air date we'll let you know! 

The Gallows Pole

Michael Socha will lead the cast as David Hartley. (Image credit: BBC)

The Gallows Pole plot...

A statement from BBC1 reads...

"Based on the novel of the same name by Benjamin Myers, The Gallows Pole fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.  Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in 18th century Yorkshire, the compelling drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley played by Michael Socha, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history."

The Gallows Pole

Thomas Turgoose has worked with Shane Meadows in This Is England (Image credit: BBC)

The Gallows Pole cast...

Michael Socha (This is England, Time) will lead the cast as David Hartley. Thomas Turgoose (This is England, Looted), George MacKay (1917, Captain Fantastic), Tom Burke (Mank, The Crown), Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey, Manhunt season 2), Yusra Warsama (Castle Rock) and Eve Burley (Secret State) will also star. 

The Gallows Pole

Sophie McShera played Daisy in Downton Abbey. (Image credit: BBC)

Nicole Barber Lane (Hollyoaks), Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders), Anthony Welsh (Master of None), Joe Sproulle (The A Word), Adam Fogerty (Legend), Fine Time Fontayne (How We Used to Live) and complete the cast, with an ensemble of first-time actors also appearing. 

The Gallows Pole

George MacKay found fame in WW1 epic 1917 (Image credit: BBC)

Shane Meadows on The Gallows Pole... 

"Putting this cast together has been an absolute joy. To be working with actors I’ve grown up with and/or have been desperate to work with, alongside oodles of incredible ‘as yet’ undiscovered (Yorkshire based) talent, is an absolute honour and I’ve not been this passionate about shooting a project in years!

"After some initial rehearsals back in spring, me and the team went on an ‘open casting’ odyssey, watching over 6,500 self-tapes from unrepresented actors and actresses and were blown away by the quality of tapes that were submitted. We went from hoping to find one or two new faces to making up half of the entire cast from those tapes and I believe it’s going to create a series quite unlike anything else I’ve ever worked on. 

"This is the 18th century yes, but viewed through a slightly more anarchic lens and will (like my previous work) have a soundtrack that fits the mood like a psychedelic glove, rather than historical expectations.”

The Gallows Pole trailer...

There's no trailer for this one yet, but we'll be sure to post it here when there is! 

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and whattowatch.com

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.