BBC4 boss Cassian Harrison has announced commissions including a new Christmas Ghost Story from Mark Gatiss alongside a fakery season from BBC Arts, a new Ken Burns epic on Country Music, a slow TV piece from arctic Greenland and the second part of Charles 1st boxset history.

Following on from last Christmas’ The Dead Room, Mark Gatiss returns to BBC Four this Christmas with a brand new ghost story, Martin’s Close. Peter Capaldi, Simon Williams, Sara Crowe, Fisayo Akinade and Elliot Levey star in Gatiss’s adaptation of the M.R. James story which follows the murder trial of John Martin.

Martin’s Close is made for BBC Four by Can Do Productions with Adorable Media. It is adapted and directed by Mark Gatiss, and produced by Isibeal Ballance. Ben Irving is executive producer for the BBC.

In association with BBC Arts, BBC Four has also ordered a fakery season in which Dr Janina Ramirez meets Shaun Greenhalgh, once one of Britain’s most prolific and successful forgers. His spell in prison convinced him to change his ways. In Handmade in Bolton (ZCZ Production) he is now putting his specialised knowledge to positive use by researching and remaking a selection of precious objects from the past using traditional materials and methods.  For Ian Hislop’s Fake News (Wingspan Production), Hislop mines history to identify what motivates fake news and twhat can be done about it. In Van Meegeren: The Forger Who Fooled The Nazis (BBC Studios) Andrew Graham Dixon investigates the story of the 20th century’s greatest art forger, Dutch artist Han van Meegeren, who made millions during World War Two, selling fake Vermeers in Nazi-occupied Holland.

The Last Igloo tells the story of a typical day in the life of an Inuit hunter in arctic Greenland, and the igloo that he builds on the frozen landscape.

The Last Igloo (1×90) was commissioned by Cassian Harrison and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Emily Smith. It has been made by Swan Films. It’s produced, filmed and directed by Christian Collerton. Composer is Biggi Hilmars. Editor is William Grayburn. Executive Producers are Neil Crombie and Joe Evans.

After the first part of Charles 1; Downfall of a King history boxset on BBC Four, the story continues with a new three-part series Charles I: Death of a King (w/t) which focuses on the monarch’s last days, starting with his captivity and the political machinations preceding his trial, leading to the days he took the stand and his execution just a few days later in January 1649.

Charles I: Death of King, a 3×60′ for BBC Four, is made by DSP (part of EndemolShine UK). It was commissioned by Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle. The Executive Producers for DSP are Emily Dalton and Erika Dodd.

Across eight episodes, Ken Burn’s Country Music explores the history of the American art form and features never-before-seen footage and photographs and interviews with more than 80 country music artists, with biographies of the characters who created and shaped the genre,

Country Music is a PBS production, directed by Ken Burns; produced by Ken Burns, Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey. Commissioned for BBC Four by Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning, Music Television.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four says: “BBC Four has had an amazing year, with sterling programming successes including The Yorkshire Ripper Files and Bros: After The Screaming Stops, and a Channel of the Year award to boot. We’ve got an equally exciting year coming up, with content that builds on previous successes but also forges new paths, all of it adding to BBC Four’s distinctive and much-loved position in the UK’s broadcasting landscape.”

Staff Reporter

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