Those events depicted, which seem most unbelievable… are mostly true.
From the creator of Peaky Blinders, and based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book, Rogue Heroes is a dramatised account of how the world’s greatest Special Forces unit, the SAS, was formed under extraordinary circumstances in the darkest days of WWII. Connor Swindells (Sex Education, Vigil), Jack O’Connell **(**Skins, The North Water) and Alfie Allen **(**Jojo Rabbit, Game of Thrones) lead an ensemble cast with Dominic West (The Wire, Appropriate Adult) and Sofia Boutella **(**Modern Love, Atomic Blonde). The series follows a crew of renegade men who are a self-proclaimed band of oddities, gentlemen, and pirates who rail against the status quo of service to do things a little differently. The series is available weekly from Wednesday 5 April on SBS On Demand and premieres at 9:30pm on SBS.
The all-star cast is joined by Amir El Masry (Industry, The One), Theo Barklem-Biggs (The First Team, Carnival Row), Corin Silva (The Bay, Emmerdale), Jacob Ifan (Bang, The Accident), Dónal Finn (Cursed, The Witcher), Jacob McCarthy (The Last Summer, A.P. Bio), César Domboy (Outlander, The Walk), Miles Jupp (The Great, The Durrells) and Jason Watkins (The Crown, McDonald & Dodds).
Rogue Heroes is created and written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Taboo, A Christmas Carol), directed by Tom Shankland (The Serpent, The Missing), with Stephen Smallwood (The Serpent, Patrick Melrose) as producer.
Set in Cairo, 1941. David Stirling (Swindells) is an eccentric young officer, bored and frustrated with the failings and shortcomings of the military authorities and their handling of the current war strategy. Convinced that traditional commando units don’t work, a view shared by another young officer, the inventive and disciplined Jock Lewes (Allen ), the pair create a radical plan that flies in the face of all accepted rules of modern warfare and try to convince their friend, firebrand and poet, Robert Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne (O’Connell ) to join their mission.
Stirling fights for permission to recruit soldiers for a small undercover unit that will create mayhem behind enemy lines. Men of a certain sort. The sweepings of public schools and military prisons, men who do not obey. Men who only need one order. ‘Go. Kill. Return. Go again’. More rebels than soldiers, Stirling’s team are every bit as complicated, flawed, and reckless as they are astonishingly brave and heroic.
With the assistance of Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Wrangel Clarke (West), a master of strategic deception in British secret intelligence in the Middle East, Stirling’s unit gains an identity and a name, the Special Air Service (SAS), but then it’s up to Stirling and his men to prove their strategy of parachuting into the desert and attacking and neutralising enemy airbases under cover of darkness will work.
Connor Swindells said: "The writing is phenomenal, Steven Knight is a genius, so it’s brilliantly written. The characters are flawed, they’re humans as much as they are heroes. There was too much that drew me to this project to turn away from it.”
Jack O’Connell said: “Paddy Mayne’s story is so cinema-worthy, so TV-worthy, that I was already aware of him through being sent scripts and hearing rumours about certain projects that never came into fruition. When this one came along, I was already geared to wanting to be involved.”
Alfie Allen said: “Jock was pushing the boundaries in terms of what he would make his men do. That would not win him fans, but it would later cement his place as a pioneer in SAS history. That was definitely one thing that really attracted me towards playing him - he was such a revered character in the SAS.”
The series was produced by Kudos – a Banijay UK company and distributed by Banijay Rights.
Rogue Heroes will be subtitled on SBS On Demand in Simplified Chinese and Arabic.