Peter Harness

Writer for television, film and theatre
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Biography

Peter Harness was born and grew up in Yorkshire. He studied English at Oxford University, where he was president of the Oxford Revue.

Peter’s first broadcast script was A View From a Hill, based on a short story by MR James, a revival of the BBC’s beloved ‘Ghost Story for Christmas’ strand. Since then, he has written a number of single films and series for TV, including the Spanish Flu drama The Forgotten Fallen, the Frankie Howerd biopic Rather You Than Me (starring David Walliams), and episodes of City of Vice and Case Histories. His debut feature, Is Anybody There?, starring Michael Caine and David Morrissey, premiered in 2009 to considerable critical acclaim.

He wrote and executive produced the third and fourth seasons of the hit detective drama Wallander (starring Kenneth Branagh). He's writing for Doctor Who as well as developing original projects and high-end adaptations for Feel Films, BBC Wales and Cuba Pictures. Currently, he is adapting War of the Worlds for Mammoth Screen. 
 
His BBC adaptation of the best-selling book Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, in 7 hour long parts, was broadcast in Spring 2015, to effusive praise across the UK and US press.

CV

TV

Writer & Executive Producer

Producer Nick Hirschkorn
Director Toby Haynes
Starring
  • Eddie Marsan
  • Bertie Carvel
  • Alice Englert
  • Marc Warren
  •  
    Adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel. Set in England during the Industrial Revolution and at the start of the 19th century, Peter Harness’ adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s best-selling novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell presents us with a fictional historical backdrop where magic is commonly learnt, though rarely practised. Jonathan Strange’s enthusiasm to practise magic leads him to discover Mr Norrell, the only practising magician left in England.
    Cuba Pictures for BBC1
     
    Producer Sanne Wohlenberg
    Director Toby Haynes
    Starring
  • Kenneth Branagh
  •  

    Lead writer and executive producer on the third and fourth series of the acclaimed detective series, with episodes adapted from the books An Event in Autumn, The Dogs of Riga, Before The Frost, and The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell.

    Left Bank for BBC1
     
     

    Adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic sci-fi tale. 

    Mammoth Screen
    In Development
     
    Creator Hossein Amini
    Producer Dixie Linder, Nick Marston
    Director James Watkins
     
    Cuba Pictures for BBC
     
     

    Adaptation of the novels by Ben Aaronovitch. In development.

    Feel Films
     
     

    In development.

    Rainmark Films / Haut et Court
     

    Writer

    Case Histories: Series 1 & 2
    BAFTA Scotland - Best Series
    2 x 60’, 1 x 90’
    Producer Eric Coulter, Helen Gregory
    Director Kenny Glenaan, Dan Zeff
    Starring
  • Zawe Ashton
  • Emma Hamilton
  • Jason Isaacs
  • Amanda Abbington
  •  

    Detective drama based on the novels of Kate Atkinson, with episodes adapted from When Will There Be Good News? and Started Early, Took My Dog.

    Ruby Film and Television for BBC1
     
    Producer Susan Horth
    Director Justin Hardy
    Starring
  • Kenneth Cranham
  • Paul Freeman
  • Mark Gatiss
  • Bill Paterson
  •  

    Drama about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

    Hardy & Sons for BBC 4
     
    1066
    1 x 90'
    Producer Sue Horth
    Director Justin Hardy
    Starring
  • Ian Holm
  • Gemma Lawrence
  • Bjorn Thors
  •  

    Epic miniseries about the Viking invasion of England and the Battle of Hastings.

    Hardy Pictures for Channel 4
     
    City of Vice
    RTS Nominated: Best Series, Writers Guild Award Nominated: Best Series
    5 x 60'
    Producer Sue Horth
    Director Justin Hardy
    Starring
  • Iain Glen
  • Ian McDiarmid
  •  

    Multiple episodes of historical drama set in vice-ridden Georgian London about the origins of the English Police force.

    Hardy Pictures for Channel 4
     
    Producer Ben Evans
    Director John Alexander
    Starring
  • Rafe Spall
  • David Walliams
  •  
    Biopic about the famous comedian
    BBC Productions for BBC 4
     
    Heist
    1 x 60'
    Producer Sue Horth
    Director Justin Hardy
    Starring
  • Geraldine James
  • Kris Marshall
  •  
    Comedy drama set in medieval London
    Hardy Pictures for BBC4
     
    Producer Pier Wilkie
    Director Luke Watson
    Starring
  • David Burke
  • Mark Letheren
  • Pip Torrens
  •  

    Revival of the classic BBC ‘A Ghost Story for Christmas’ strand. Adaptation of a story by MR James.

    BBC Productions for BBC4
     
    The Waters of Babylon
    Winner: Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award
    1 x 90'
     
    Winner of the Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award
    BBC Films
    In development
     
    Empathy
    Pilot of 6 x 60'
    Producer Helen Gregory
     

    Drama set amongst the inmates of a high security psychiatric prison.

    Ruby Film and TV for BBC
     
    Department 666
    Pilot for 6 x 60'
    Producer Sally Woodward Gentle
     

    Supernatural drama series set in black ops in London during WWII.

    Carnival Films for BBC
    In development
     
    Creator Peter Harness & Stephen Fry
    Producer Gina Carter
     
    Period drama series about the first four Georges to reign in England
    Sprout for BBC
    In development
     
    Producer Peter Bennett
    Director Paul Wilmshurst
    Starring
  • Peter Capaldi
  • Jenna Coleman
  •  

    Three episodes of the legendary science fiction series: Kill The Moon, The Zygon Invasion and The Zygon Inversion.

    BBC for BBC One
     

    Film

    Writer

    Producer David Heyman
    Director John Crowley
    Starring
  • Sir Michael Caine
  • David Morrissey
  •  
    Tragi-comedy charting the unlikely friendship between an octogenarian magician and a ten year old boy
    Optimum Releasing
    Heyday Films
     

    Theatre

    Writer

    Director Thea Sharrock
     
    Southwark Playhouse