The Harry Potter film series

In a move designed to accommodate the TV-watching public’s inability to keep track of more than one twinkling-eyed enigmatic British father figure at a time, retired Dumbledore Michael Gambon has been cast as Winston Churchill in an upcoming collaboration between PBS’s Masterpiece and the U.K.’s ITV. Gambon will play the former prime minister in Churchill’s Secret, which isn’t the whimsical, magical mystery you might expect—the series will center on the stroke Churchill suffered in 1953, a condition that was kept secret from the rest of the world.

Like any good story about a mysterious world of dangers, secrets, and powerful people, the tale will be told from the point of view of an uninitiated newcomer. In this case, the viewer’s POV Muggle will be Churchill’s young nurse, the bucolically named Millie Appleyard. Appleyard, who’s yet to be cast, will watch while the ailing statesman balances pressures from his political allies and concerned family, and also from confused viewers waiting for him to cast a spell or talk to an owl or something.


Churchill’s Secret is set to begin filming later this month, and will air on PBS some time in 2016.