Kenneth Branagh is set to portray U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in This Sceptered Isle, a drama that charts the events surrounding Johnson and his government in the face of the first wave of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Of course, your mileage may vary about whether we truly need a drama about the British government's response to the coronavirus pandemic while the world's still deep in the grips of that said pandemic, or if such a series can have anything meaningful to say at this point when people are still waiting to receive vaccines that might help life return to something like normal.
But one thing we can all agree on is that Branagh's transformation is...well, it's something else.
No, you’re not seeing things. That’s Kenneth Branagh as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the first day of filming This Sceptred Isle.— Sky TV (@skytv) February 25, 2021
This Sky Original drama will be coming to your TVs in Autumn 2022… pic.twitter.com/WR1Ig4BVRU
Based on first-hand testimony from members of the government, the Department of Health, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and hospitals and care homes across the country, the series promises to tell the tale of some of the most devastating events to ever befall the U.K. The 56-year-old Johnson was himself hospitalized with COVID-19 last March, spending over a week in the hospital and several days in intensive care.
“The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered forever,” said writer and director Michael Winterbottom. “A time when the country came together to battle an invisible enemy. A time when people were more aware than ever of the importance of community. Our series weaves together countless true stories — from Boris Johnson in Number 10 to front line workers around the country — chronicling the efforts of scientists, doctors, care home workers and policymakers to protect us from the virus.”
This Sceptered Isle is currently in production and the Sky Original drama will air on Sky Atlantic in 2022. No word yet on where it might find an American home, but we'll keep you posted.
What do you think of Branagh's look as the Prime Minister? Let us know in the comments.