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Erin Doherty, who broke out playing Princess Anne in the third and fourth seasons of The Crown, has joined the cast of Disney+ series A Thousand Blows.
First announced by The Hollywood Reporter last year, the 12-part series is set in the perilous world of illegal boxing in 1880s Victorian London, and was created and written by Stephen Knight and exec produced by Stephen Graham, who also stars.
With filming now underway in London, also joining the cast are Francis Lovehall, Jason Tobin, James Nelson-Joyce, Hannah Walters, Nadia Albina, Morgan Hilaire, Jemma Carlton and Caoilfhionn Dunne. Small Axe star Malachi Kirby was previously announced as playing a lead role.
A Thousand Blows — still a working title — follows Hezekiah (Kirby) and Alec (Lovehall), two best friends from Jamaica who find themselves thrust into the vibrant and violent melting pot of post-industrial revolution London’s East End. Drawn into the criminal underbelly of the thriving boxing scene, Hezekiah meets Mary Carr (Doherty), leader of The Forty Elephants — the notorious all-female London gang — as they battle for survival on the streets. As Hezekiah sharpens his new skills, he comes up against Sugar Goodson (Graham), a seasoned and dangerous boxer and the two are soon locked in an intense rivalry that spills out way beyond the ring.
Knight is the lead writer for the series, with episodes also written by a group of new voices, including Ameir Brown, Insook Chappell, Harlan Davies and Yasmin Joseph. Tinge Krishnan (WeCrashed, Mosquito Coast, Industry) will serve as lead director and executive producer, with Ashley Walters (best known as star of Top Boy and Bulletproof) and Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful, How to Build a Girl) joining as series directors.
Joining Knight as exec producer are Graham and Walters for Matriarch Productions, Damian Keogh and Kate Lewis for The Story Collective, and Tom Miller and Sam Myer for Water & Power Productions. Award-winning broadcaster and historian Professor David Olusoga will also act as executive producer on the series, with Barrington Robinson as first-block producer. The original series is executive produced by Lee Mason, director of scripted content EMEA for Disney+.
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