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'This Sceptred Isle' — release date, plot, first image of Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson and all you need to know

'This Sceptred Isle' star Kenneth Branagh at a screening of 'All is True' May 08, 2019.
(Image credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

This Sceptred Isle is a brand-new Sky Original factual drama that will chart the events surrounding the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the government, and the country at large as they make their way through the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, The Trip) will direct all five episodes and has co-written the show with Kieron Quirke (Defending the Guilty). 

Here’s everything you need to know about This Sceptred Isle... 

When is This Sceptred Isle on TV? 

This Sceptred Isle has only just entered production after its announcement earlier this year. As such, the show won't air in the UK until Autumn 2022.

What is the plot?

Here’s the plot summary for This Sceptred Isle from Sky: 

This Sceptred Isle will tell the tale of some of the most devastating events to ever befall the United Kingdom, and of a Prime Minister leading in these unprecedented times. 

"The drama will trace the impact on Britain from this once in a generation pandemic, and the response of scientists, nurses, and doctors as they worked tirelessly and heroically to contain and overcome the virus. 

"It is based on the first-hand testimony of people from all walks of life; from Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and from hospitals and care homes across the country."

 Who’s in This Sceptred Isle

So far, we know that Kenneth Branagh, star of stage and screen, will appear in the series as Boris Johnson. 

Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson for This Sceptred Isle.

Sky has released this first look image of Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson as filming gets underway for This Sceptred Isle. (Image credit: Sky)

Branagh was most recently seen in Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster, Tenet as lead antagonist Andrei Sator, a Russian oligarch who communicated with the future.

Thanks to Deadline, we now know that Ophelia Lovibond (Elementary) will star as Carrie Symonds, Boris Johnson's fiancée. Simon Paisley Day (Brexit: The Uncivil War) will also appear in This Sceptred Isle as Boris' senior adviser Dominic Cummings.

Is there a trailer for This Sceptred Isle?

Not yet — filming has only just commenced, so there likely won’t be a trailer for a little while — make sure to check back later! 

Where can I watch it?

This Sceptred Isle will air next year on Sky Atlantic and will be made available for streaming on NOW TV, too!