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BBC announces Tatau

BBC, London, 3 July 2014: BBC Three has commissioned a brand-new 8×45′ drama series, written by Richard Zajdlic and co-produced by Touchpaper TV (makers of Being Human) and South Pacific Pictures in association with BBC America.

Tatau is the first drama series to be commissioned for BBC Three – the winner of the Channel of the Year at last week’s Broadcast Digital Awards – since BAFTA Award-winning serial In the Flesh. It was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama and Zai Bennett, Former Controller, BBC Three.

Ben Stephenson says: “From the makers of Being Human, Tatau is an ambitious new BBC Three drama series that will raise the bar for viewers of the channel who have a real appetite for distinctive stories from all different worlds.”

Kyle Connor and Pete ‘Budgie’ Griffiths are 20-something friends from London travelling the world looking for sun, fun and adventure. They’ve worked hard, saved even harder, and now finally they’re off, eager to soak up as many different cultures and experiences as they possibly can. Kyle even got himself a Maori-style tattoo in London, excited about their eventual destination: the Cook Islands.

Rob Pursey, the executive producer for Touchpaper, adds: “It’s exciting to produce a show that takes the BBC audience to an entirely new location. And it’s even more exciting to explore the ancient myths of a culture that very few of us are familiar with.”

Kyle is unsettled when local people react to his tattoo: it clearly has a significance that he is entirely unaware of. It’s like he’s been marked out for something – but what?

Later, while snorkelling in a lagoon, Kyle finds the body of a local girl, Aumea, tied up underwater – dead. Returning to the lagoon with the police, Kyle finds her corpse has disappeared. Budgie wonders if his best friend is going mad – he’s imagining things. But Kyle knows what he saw. And he’s also beginning to realise that he has a gift – or a curse: the murder he’s witnessed isn’t something that has happened, it’s something that will happen in the future.

Kyle and Budgie find themselves sucked into a desperate race to prevent Aumea’s murder, as Kyle learns that his gifts don’t stop at prophecy… and the full meaning of his tattoo is revealed.

Sam Bickley, Channel Editor, BBC Three, says: “BBC Three has rightfully made a name for itself producing multi-award-winning dramas like In the Flesh, The Fades and Being Human. Tatau very much continues the channel’s tradition for commissioning original, innovative and exciting drama that you would not expect to see anywhere else.”

Tatau is 8×45′ and will be co-produced by Touchpaper TV and South Pacific Pictures in association with BBC America. Touchpaper TV is a Zodiak Media Company.

Richard Zajdlic, creator and writer and Rob Pursey are the executive producers for Touchpaper TV, John Barnett and Chris Bailey for South Pacific in New Zealand and Matthew Read for the BBC.

Filming starts in September 2014 and casting will be announced in due course.

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