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BBC Greenlights “DOPE GIRLS” Series Tracing the Birth of the British Drug Underground

As reported by Deadline, the BBC plans to take audiences into Soho’s criminal underbelly with its next big-budget drama series, “Dope Girls”.

Based on Marek Kohn’s non-fiction book “Dope Girls: The Birth of the British Drug Underground,” this six-part series from Bad Wolf Productions (“His Dark Materials”) for BBC One and penned by Polly Stenham (The Face, The Neon Demon) and Alex Warren (Eleanor) is being billed as a spiritual successor to “Peaky Blinders”.

Plot details are still thin on the ground, but reports indicate that it will trace the birth of the nightclub scene in London’s Soho, mixing fact-based material from Kohn’s book with fictional characters and storylines to explore all aspects of the criminal world of Soho in the early 20th century.

Deadline further reports that the series is loosely based on the true story of conservative, God-fearing 42-year-old single mother Kate Meyrick, who established a nightclub empire and criminal family business, becoming the most dangerous woman in London and a rival to Brilliant Chang, the baron of Soho’s gritty underworld.

Her nightclubs are fuelled by drugs and alcohol that allow a whole generation of First World War veterans and survivors to forget their traumas and break through the rigid patriarchal structures of the era to allow women to dance, have sex and take drugs with whomever they choose.

The series is set to enter principal photography later this year, with the cast sure to be revealed shortly.

The show will be executive produced by Stenham and Warren alongside Bad Wolf’s Kate Crowther and Jane Tranter, with Michael Lesslie (Assassin’s Creed) also executive producing. The project was developed and overseen by Bad Wolf’s Director of Content Dan McCulloch and Chief Creative Officer Ryan Rasmussen.

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