The Slap is a new eight-part drama series for BBC Four based on Christos Tsiolkas’ best-selling novel.
At a summer BBQ, a man slaps a child who is not his son and the story traces the shattering repercussions of a single event upon a group of family and friends. The boy’s parents are so affronted by the assault that they call the police and take the man to court. Beliefs are tested and relationships strained.
Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four, says: “The book was a runaway success and I’m pleased to bring this very well made tale of our times to the channel. It reflects BBC Four’s desire to bring viewers the best programming from around the world and its focus on social contemporary issues will bring a different tone to the channel.”
Starring Jonathan La Paglia (Cold Case); Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda); Melissa George (Grey’s Anatomy); Essie Davis (Australia) and Alex Dimitriades (Neighbours).
The story unfolds through the points of view of eight characters as the court case proceeds, as affairs begin and end, as a pregnancy is decided and marriages morph and change. Each character’s life is profoundly affected by “the slap”, and each character is forced to face up to fundamental truths about themselves…
The Slap explores what happens when the veil of civility that binds us as a society, is rent aside by one disturbing action. It brings to vivid life questions of parenting, the rights of children, race, class, sexuality, and the different perspectives of men and women.
Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says: “The Slap is a phenomenon, one of those books which everyone seems to be reading. This fine Australian adaptation brings the novel’s keen-eyed dissection of suburban living to the screen with tremendous performances – it is a truly powerful, compelling and thought-provoking watch.”
Nicky Davies Williams, CEO DCD Rights, says: “The Slap is a unique drama that never fails to provoke a discussion and questioning of values. We are delighted that BBC Four have acquired this to sit amongst a tradition of groundbreaking international drama acquisitions.”
Produced by Matchbox Pictures for ABC TV Australia, Screen Australia, Film Victoria and DCD Rights. Tony Ayres is the showrunner; produced by Helen Bowden, Tony Ayres and Michael McMahon.