Mark Rylance Cyber Thriller 'The Undeclared War' to Stream on Peacock

(Photo: Peacock)

Given how many options there are these days when it comes to streaming services, it's natural that some might fall through the cracks for viewers. With big names like Netflix and Hulu constantly pumping out content and niche streamers like Acorn TV and Britbox there to fill in the gaps, it's pretty easy to forget that things like Peacock not only exist, they're actually something of an underrated gem when it comes to British television content. 

In the past few years, NBC's streaming service has brought a little bit of everything across the pond, from buzzy thrillers and smart comedies to this year's Eurovision competition.  The past few years have seen the streamer land contemporary hits like submarine thriller Vigilcrime drama The Captureand the comedy Hitmen, which stars former The Great British Baking Show favorites Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. Jed Mercurio's latest hit series, Trigger Point, will arrive in July. And that's not the only British content viewers can look forward to on the platform this summer.

The six-episode limited series The Undeclared War will premiere on the streamer this August, a high-octane thriller that sounds almost uncomfortably timely. Executive produced, directed, and co-written by five-time BAFTA Awards winner Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall), the series follows the story of a leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters, the U.K.’s version of the U.S.’s National Security Agency) who are secretly working to ward off a series of cyber-attacks on the U.K. in the run-up to a general election.

When a routine stress test of internet infrastructure goes awry, 21-year-old GCHQ intern Saara Parvan (Hannah Khalique-Brown) suddenly finds herself operating on the invisible frontier of high-stakes cyber warfare. In a thrilling cat and mouse game, Saara and the team at GCHQ must try to stay one step ahead and anticipate their opponent's every hidden move. The clock is ticking as a battle with high stakes and unpredictable enemies takes place entirely online, with very real consequences.  But how do you win a war most of the public doesn't know you're fighting?

The Undeclared War has been many years in the making. It imagines how the next few years might play out in the domain of cyber warfare–a battle unseen by the public but with potentially devastating consequences," Kominsky said in a statement. "In my work, I’ve tried to shine a light on aspects of public policy which affect us all but where the details of what is taking place, often behind the scenes, are not well understood. I hope this drama will give audiences an insight into a world certain to impact our lives significantly in the years ahead.”

(Photo: Peacock)

The series' stacked ensemble cast is packed with familiar faces including Mark Rylance (Ready Player One), Simon Pegg (The Boys), Adrian Lester (Riviera), Alex Jennings (This Is Going to Hurt), and Maisie Richardson-Sellers (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow).

“It’s such an honor to bring this powerhouse writing and producing team to Peacock for a thrilling drama that will keep viewers at the edge of their seat with this timely and realistic look into cyber security,”  Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a statement. 

Kosminsky serves as executive producer alongside Colin Callender and Noëlette Buckley. It is co-produced by Stonehenge Films, Playground and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group in association with Channel 4. Declan Lawn, Adam Patterson, and Amelia Spencer are on board as writers, while Robert Jones produces.

The Undeclared War will premiere on August 18 on Peacock.

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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