Disney+ has announced a brand new series, tentatively titled A Thousand Blows, set in the perilous world of illegal boxing in 1880s Victorian London. The 12-part series is to be brought to life by acclaimed screenwriter Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), starring and executive produced by British screen titan Stephen Graham (Help). The series is being produced by The Story Collective in a co-production with Matriarch Productions and Water & Power Productions. The UK Original series will premiere on Disney+ globally, Star+ in Latin America and Hulu in the US.
The thrilling series follows Hezekiah and Alec, 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, 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, a seasoned and dangerous boxer played by Stephen Graham, and the two are soon locked into an intense rivalry that spills out way beyond the ring.
“I’m really thrilled to be working on this project with Stephen as well as the very talented production team and group of writers.” said Knight in a statement. “I always love to delve into untold history, and this is a story that really deserves to be told. We are recreating an amazing world and telling a remarkable true story.”
A Thousand Blows is created, written and executive produced by Steven Knight, visionary creator of Peaky Blinders. It stars Stephen Graham, who will also serve as executive producer alongside Hannah 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.
Steven Knight is the lead writer for the series, with episodes also written by Ameir Brown, Insook Chappell, Harlan Davies and Yasmin Joseph.
Tinge Krishnan (WeCrashed) will serve as lead director and executive producer. The Original series is executive produced by Lee Mason, Director of Scripted Content EMEA for Disney+.