Following a production shutdown back in March, Stephen Merchant has re-assembled his ensemble for The Offenders, a six-part miniseries for BBC and Amazon Prime Video. Per Deadline, production has resumed on the series, which is headlined by Christopher Walken in his first role for British television and one of two upcoming small-screen roles (the other is Severance, an upcoming workplace drama from Ben Stiller and Apple TV+). The Offenders is the working title for the six-part miniseries co-created and written by Merchant with Elgin James (Mayans M.C.). Merchant also co-stars in the series, which follows seven strangers (The Real World!) forced to participate in a “Community Payback” program in Bristol. The group includes Frank (Walken), an “inveterate scoundrel” estranged from his family, and lonely lawyer Greg (Merchant), who is struggling with workplace bullying (very Merchant) and a divorce.
“At first, the Offenders seem like archetypes easy to pigeonhole,” reads Deadline’s description, “but gradually we see behind their façades, understand their hidden depths and what made them the people they are today. We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad. Everyone has a story.” Additional stars include Rhianna Barreto and Gamba Cole (Hanna), Darren Boyd (Killing Eve), Clare Perkins (EastEnders), and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark). As England contends with a new wave of COVID-19 cases, the production is said to be implementing further safety measures to comply with medical and national guidelines.