The search for intelligent life beyond the stars is about to take on a more international scope, as writer/director Joe Ahearne (Doctor Who, Da Vinci's Demons) is set to develop UFO drama Rendlesham. Ahearne is set to write and direct the series; with Sony Pictures Television and Eleventh Hour Films (Foyle's War) set to handle production. Ahearne, Jill Green and Eleventh Hour's Eve Gutierrez will serve as executive producers. Sony Pictures Television will handle international distribution, with Eleventh Hour Films reserving the right to pitch the series in the U.S. and U.K.
"When Eleventh Hour Films drew my attention to this extraordinary piece of British and American history it pressed all my buttons and I think it will do the same for a wide audience." – Ahearne
Rendlesham is inspired by a reportedly "true" UFO incident at a US air base close to the village of Rendlesham, Suffolk (dubbed by many "Britain's Roswell") in 1980. Several people in the village's small forest – including a number of air force servicemen – claimed to have witnessed a glowing object in the sky before it flew off into the woods. Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt recorded the incident in an official report that was made public in 1983; but was met with push-back from both the government and fellow military officers, leading to decades of conspiracy theories.
"Joe is a master storyteller with a long-standing fascination for science fiction. Now working with Sony Pictures Television we are looking forward to bringing this timely, other-worldly story to the global market." – Gutierrez
Playing out against the backdrop of the Cold War, the series will utilize a dual timeline structure: one set during the initial 1980 sighting; and the other in 2020, during the 40th anniversary of the incident. The focus of the story will be a local family; and how both the incident and the ramifications from it impacted them on perfect levels for decades.
"The Cold War, Cruise Missiles, UFOs – Joe is taking extraordinary tales and giving them even more compelling twists. As a local lad, I can't wait to see him bring his vision of Suffolk to the world." – Wayne Garvie, Sony Pictures Television