BBC One announced newcomers Mark Strepan (The Mill) and Ben Tavassoli (No Offence) are set to star in bestselling author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz’s new BBC One investigative drama, New Blood.
Created and written by Anthony Horowitz and produced by Eleventh Hour Films (Safe House, Foyle’s War, Vexed), New Blood is a 7×60 drama series directed by Anthony Philipson (Cuffs, Our Girl and 24 Hours In A&E) that will show a unique side of modern London, through the eyes of two outsiders. Mark and Ben will play the roles of junior investigators Stefan and Rash respectively, and these will be their first roles on BBC One primetime.
Anthony Horowitz says: “When I created a hero who was Polish/British and another who was Iranian/British, I never expected that we’d actually find the real thing but with Mark and Ben we’ve done exactly that. They really are the ‘new blood’ that the title promises and I’m confident that they’re going to make a wonderfully surprising and entertaining team.”
Ben Tavassoli, who plays Rash, says: “I remember this green book knocking about at school when I was in year 7. I didn’t read anything besides forged sick notes back then, but I decided to jump on the bandwagon and pick up a copy of Stormbreaker. The only problem was I couldn’t put it back down and now 15 years later I’ve been cast in the author’s new BBC drama. Madness. It’s such a privilege.”
Mark Strepan, playing Stefan, said: “When I was 17, I remember serving ‘Alex Rider’ Alex Pettyfer at a charity dinner. I was working and saving money for drama school, standing in awe of the actor who got to be a part of Anthony Horowitz’s Stormbreaker. I can’t wait to get started. You read these scripts and you can’t help but want to do a little dance. There’s a lot of action, a lot of training to be done and a lot of fun ahead. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of it.”
New Blood will be the first time that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the police have been portrayed on screen together, where junior investigators Stefan and Rash individually work.
Brought together by two seemingly unrelated cases, Stefan and Rash will come up against the uber rich and powerful – corporations, individuals, governments and the new breed of criminals who hide behind legitimate facades and are guarded by lawyers.
BBC executive producer Matthew Read adds: “It’s incredibly exciting to have Anthony Horowitz back at the BBC with New Blood, and to welcome such brilliant new talent to bring this clever and bold series to life. Anthony is one of the most exceptional crime writers of our time, and to have him as the driving force behind this new drama for BBC One will undoubtedly produce genius.”
Rash and Stefan are opposites in almost every way. What they do share are the same frustrations with life – underpaid, unappreciated and undermined. Lumbered with huge university loans, they can’t afford to buy a house and have little or no job security. They are both British but not part of the establishment.
As Stefan and Rash’s friendship is cemented across the series, they come to understand that by quietly pooling resources and combining their different skills they make a formidable crime-solving force. And at the same time they might be able to help each other up the promotional ladder – if they don’t get themselves fired along the way.