The BBC has ordered a series of docs for its The Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland season.

The season sees a range of top filmmakers go back through the recent decades to put a new lens on some good, bad and ugly moments from Northern Ireland’s past.The films will be broadcast on BBC One Northern Ireland and on BBC iPlayer after broadcast accompanied by a selection of popular documentaries from BBC Northern Ireland’s archive including some favourite True North films.

Eddie Doyle, Head of Content Commissioning, BBC NI says: “We are excited to bring this new season of documentary films this Spring, showcasing some of the most intriguing stories told by some of the best film storytellers around. The football team that brought hope to a city, the man who built the Back to the Future car, the heist which saw £26.5 million taken from the vaults of the Northern Bank and the sad tale of boys who disappeared on the streets of Belfast without a trace. These are stories which have global appeal but are unique to this place.”

The films include:

Different League: The Derry City Story made by Guy King of State of Grace Films and Stray Bear Films.

DeLorean: Back from the Future, a two-part series about John DeLorean’s extraordinary and doomed attempt to build the sports car of the future in 1980s Northern Ireland. It is co-commissioned with BBC Two and Netflix and filmed by Oscar-winning directors DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus and produced by Fired Up Films.

Heist: The Northern Bank Robbery tells the story of what was the biggest heist in British history – just four days before Christmas, in December 2004 when the Northern Bank in Belfast was robbed. In a sophisticated operation the gang took two families hostage for 24 hours, forcing two bank employees to rob £26.5M from the cash centre. Suspicion immediately fell on the Provisional IRA and a political storm ensued which threatened to derail a fragile peace process. Sixteen years on, despite an unprecedented police investigation, it remains unsolved. In this BBC NI production, two of Northern Ireland’s leading journalists – Darragh McIntyre and Sam McBride – come together to shed new light on one of the most notorious cases in UK-Irish criminal history.

GONE: The Lost Boys of Belfast. In November 1974, as civil unrest took hold in Northern Ireland, two young boys disappeared off a busy road in Belfast on their way to school. They were never seen again. What is unique about these disappearances is the apparent lack of coverage they received, both at the time and since. Thomas Spence (11) and John Rodgers (13) were ostensibly forgotten by the public almost as quickly as they vanished as it appeared a news cycle and a police force caught up in a de facto civil war had no time to investigate missing children. In a new documentary for BBC Northern Ireland, filmmaker Des Henderson attempts to find answers to a decades-old cold case mystery. With the help of criminologist Robert Giles, journalist Martin Dillon and investigative reporter Chris Moore, the team discover that the truth may be more horrifying than anyone had initially thought. Made for the BBC by Alleycats TV.

Jon Creamer

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