Stephen Graham begins filming period boxing drama from Steven Knight

Stephen Graham begins filming period boxing drama from Steven Knight

Stephen Graham via Greg WilliamsCameras roll this week (6 March) on major new Disney+ drama, A Thousand Blows (w/t), penned by seasoned scribe Steven Knight and starring Stephen Graham. 

The latest Disney+ original UK drama to begin filming, the 12-part series is made by The Story Collective in a co-production with Matriarch Productions and Water & Power Productions

It is set in the world of illegal boxing in 1880s Victorian London, and follows Hezekiah and Alec, two friends from Jamaica who find themselves thrown into the violent world of post-industrial revolution London’s East End. 

Drawn into the criminal underbelly of the thriving boxing scene, Hezekiah meets Mary Carr, leader of notorious all-female London gang The Forty Elephants, as they battle for survival on the streets. 

Soon Hezekiah encounters Sugar Goodson (Graham), a seasoned and dangerous boxer, and the two are soon locked into an intense rivalry with ramifications that spill out beyond the ring.

Graham also serves as executive producer alongside Hannah Walters for Matriarch Productions, Damian Keogh and Kate Lewis for The Story Collective, and Tom Miller and Sam Myer for Water & Power Productions. Historian and broadcaster Professor David Olusoga is also executive producing. 

Knight is the lead writer, with episodes also written by Ameir Brown, Insook Chappell, Harlan Davies and Yasmin Joseph. The lead director is Tinge Krishnan, who also exec produce alongside Lee Mason, director of scripted content EMEA for Disney+.

When the project was first announced, creator Knight said:  “I’m really thrilled to be working on this project with Stephen as well as the very talented production team and group of writers. I always love to delve into untold history, and this is a story that really deserves to be told. We are recreating an amazing world and telling a remarkable true story.”

Graham added: “To be able to work with Steve again and the talented team of writers we have for this project is truly wonderful, and to tell the story of these incredible characters during this period of time in London is a joy.


“Aside from having the privilege of bringing the role of Sugar Goodson to life, I am also extremely proud that Matriarch is co-producing this show whilst helping to create opportunities for people in front of and behind the camera, instilling the ethos of providing training within production that otherwise would be difficult for some to pursue as a career. ‘Don’t count the days… Make the days count.’ – Muhammad Ali.”

Stephen Graham photo by Greg Williams. 

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