Danny Boy: All about new BBC drama starring Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones

Danny Boy 2021 start date and cast

Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones are to star in a compelling new drama for BBC Two, Danny Boy.


The feature-length show, follows a young man’s journey from medal-winning war hero to alleged murderer, and his search for truth in the fog of war.

Anthony Boyle (Ordeal By Innocence, The Plot Against America) plays real-life soldier Brian Wood, accused of war crimes in Iraq by the human rights lawyer Phil Shiner, played by Toby Jones (Marvellous, Detectorists).

The two men go head to head in a legal and moral conflict that takes us from the battlefield – at so-called Checkpoint Danny Boy – to the courtroom, and one of Britain’s biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry.

Further casting includes Alex Ferns (Chernobyl, The Batman) as Brian’s father and ex-soldier, Gavin and Leah McNamara (Normal People, Vikings) as his wife Lucy.

Danny Boy will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on Wednesday, 12 May at 9PM.

A teaser reads: “Memory, evidence and trauma collide, as Brian finds himself caught on the fine line between war and unlawful killing. After his service in Iraq and years of legal investigation, will he ever be able to look his family in the eye again and be the husband, father, and son, they need him to be?


“Danny Boy is an urgent and thought-provoking drama that questions what we ask of those who fight – and kill – for their country.”

The programme is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest)

Anthony Boyle said: “I’m thrilled to be working with Sam Miller on Robert Jones’ phenomenal script, and telling Brian’s extraordinary story. We get to explore not just the realities of war, but how they can come back to haunt you.”

Toby Jones added: “Robert has written an extraordinarily compelling, intelligent and nuanced script, and it’s a real honour to be working with Danny Boy’s exceptional cast and creative team to bring it to the screen.”

Writer Robert Jones commented: “Here’s a man who won a medal for valour, but whose toughest test was the scrutiny that followed. External scrutiny, and soul searching too – Brian Wood’s story is a fascinating one for a writer to explore. It’s been a great privilege to work with producers of such distinction and I’m really delighted we’re going into production with Sam Miller at the helm and a terrific cast and crew.”


Director Sam Miller added: “I’m very excited to be telling this story featuring the Battle of Danny Boy and the subsequent fallout, both personally and politically, for Brian and others.

“The film is a candid and subtle delve into a troubled sequence in recent history that sets up an undertow threatening all those involved. The intimate questions raised about the nature of soldiering and the political ramifications are never more prescient. I’m personally extremely pleased to be working with BBC Two and Colin and Sue’s team at Expectation, and a wonderful cast headed by Anthony Boyle, Toby Jones, Leah McNamara and Alex Ferns.”

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