BBC iPlayer orders first original film

The_Rack_PackUK pubcaster the BBC has ordered The Rack Pack, a comedy film for its iPlayer streaming and catch up service.

The feature will be made by Endemol Shine-owned prodco Zeppotron and launch on iPlayer in December. The comedy drama will be set in the 70s and 80s snooker scene and detail the rivalry between Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins and Steve Davis.

Luke Treadaway (Fortitude) will play Higgins and Will Merrick (Skins) Davis. Brian Walsh (Black Mirror) directs. It was ordered by Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content for BBC iPlayer, and Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning.

Jaye said: “The Rack Pack is our very first comedy drama feature film made exclusively for BBC iPlayer. Snooker is a much-loved British sport, and The Rack Pack celebrates its glory days in the Seventies and Eighties in a thrilling and brilliantly written story which will be the centre piece of our film offer over the Christmas period.”

Allen added: “BBC iPlayer offers a unique creative space for comedy of all shapes, sizes, tones and ambition – free of the traditional parameters of TV slots.”

The BBC has committed to making more original iPlayer content and The Rack Pack commission marks iPlayer’s move into features. Its US-based streaming counterpart Netflix has started commissioning original feature-length content. The show will also be Zeppotron’s first-ever feature.