First look at Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson in new Sky series This Sceptred Isle

Katie Rosseinsky
·1-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

If your immediate reaction to Sky commissioning a new drama about Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic was “No thanks, too soon!” you might want to avert your eyes.

The broadcaster has now released a first look image showing Sir Kenneth Branagh in character as the Prime Minister, complete with a (surprisingly well-coiffed) bleach blonde wig.

It’s a major transformation for the veteran actor and director - though depending on how you squint at it, he arguably bears a pretty striking resemblance to Johnson’s father Stanley, too.

Titled This Sceptred Isle, the five-part series will be directed by Michael Winterbottom and is set to air on Sky Atlantic next autumn.

Filming commenced on the series this weekSky
Filming commenced on the series this weekSky

As well as exploring Johnson and the government’s response to the pandemic, it will also focus on the response of scientists, nurses and doctors as they worked to contain the virus.

The script, written by Winterbottom and Kieron Quirke, is based on first-hand testimony from across the country, from hospitals and care homes to the Department of Health, SAGE and Downing Street.

Filming commenced on the series this week, with further casting yet to be announced.

Branagh’s most recent screen role saw him star as a shadowy villain in Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending thriller Tenet.

He is also set to reprise his role as an enormously-moustached Hercule Poirot in his star-studded adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, which is still awaiting a new release date after it was pulled from the schedule due to the pandemic.