Martina Cole’s The Take

Starts Wednesday 17th June at 9pm

Adapted from the best-selling novel MARTINA COLE’S THE TAKE is a gripping drama about love, power, jealousy and betrayal.

The four-part serial features a stunning ensemble cast of British talent including Tom Hardy (Bronson, Stuart A Life Backwards), Emmy® award winner Brian Cox (Braveheart, The Bourne Supremacy, Deadwood), Kierston Wareing (It’s a Free World, Fish Tank), Charlotte Riley (Easy Virtue),) and Shaun Evans (Teachers).

Freddie Jackson (Hardy) is just out of prison. He’s done his time, made the right connections and now he’s ready to use them. With his faithful cousin Jimmy (Evans) by his side, Freddie is ready to take on the world. His wife Jackie (Wareing) dreams of having her husband home but she’s forgotten the rows and the girls Freddie can’t leave alone.

At first Freddie gets everything he ever wanted and Jimmy is taken along for the ride, the two creating a growing crime empire that gives them all the respect and money they’ve hungered for. But behind it all sits Ozzy (Cox) – a legendary criminal godfather who manipulates Freddie and Jimmy’s fates from behind the bars of his prison cell.

Bitter, resentful and increasingly unstable, Jackie sees her life crumble while her little sister Maggie’s (Riley) star rises. In love with Jimmy, Maggie is determined not to end up like her sister. Freddie and Jackie watch Jimmy and Maggie achieve all the dreams that they themselves failed to realise: love, family, stability and respect.

Freddie soon proves himself to be unpredictably violent and extremely dangerous. A jealous resentment and an inability to control himself force Freddie to put both the business and family at risk. Torn between being loyal to a cousin he loves and being true to his own destiny, Jimmy is forced to decide between protecting Freddie or the life he has built with Maggie.

Martina Cole commented: “The Take was my era – I wanted to capture that. The times changed then – the family dynamics changed. Every now and then I like to go back and take people back to another era and show them how something began.”  And Martina was thrilled with the casting, adding: “That Tom Hardy is fantastic. Freddie is such a big character and he played him fantastically.  I saw Shaun, the guy who plays Jimmy, in a film called Gone and I rang Lavinia [Warner – Executive Producer] up and said you’ve got to watch this film, this kid is fantastic. Both the girls caught their characters perfectly – just perfectly.”

Brian Cox said: “This is an important piece. Like a British Godfather. It’s about that society and how it doesn’t work.“

Speaking about his character, Tom Hardy commented: “Freddie is like an old school gangster in a new school body – he’s on the fringe of two generations and so he’s discarded during the crossover between the two regimes because of his inability to blend in and to co-operate.”

Martina Cole is one of the UK’s most prolific crime writers, she is the bestselling author of fifteen novels set in London’s gangland, and her most recent three novels have gone straight to number one in the Sunday Times Bestseller List. Total book sales stand at over eight million.  A firm favourite with critics and fans alike, Martina’s compelling and gritty prose is the perfect material for drama that pulls no punches.

MARTINA COLE’S THE TAKE was adapted for the screen by Neil Biswas (Bradford Riots, In a Land of Plenty), produced by Willow Grylls and it was directed by David Drury.

MARTINA COLE’S THE TAKE is a Company Pictures and Warner Sisters production for Sky1 and was commissioned by Elaine Pyke, Head of Drama Sky1, 2 and 3.

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