Timothy Spall, Anne Reid and Sheila Hancock to star in BBC true-crime drama 'The Sixth Commandment'

Timothy Spall, Anne Reid and Sheila Hancock
Timothy Spall, Anne Reid and Sheila Hancock star in The Sixth Commandment. (Getty)

An all-star cast has been announced for a new BBC One drama about the true crimes of Benjamin Field.

Timothy Spall, Anne Reid, Sheila Hancock, Annabel Scholey and Éanna Hardwicke will feature in The Sixth Commandment, a series based on the deaths of neighbours Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin, and Field's involvement.

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In 2015, novelist, teacher and lecturer Farquhar died at his home in the village of Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire, a death which appeared to be accidental after drinking too much.

But it was later revealed that his drink had been spiked by former student Field, who he was "betrothed" to at the time, who had suffocated Farquhar.

A sign for Maids Moreton, near Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, after police launched a murder investigation into the deaths of two elderly residents, Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin, of the village who died more than a year-and-a-half apart.
The strange crimes took place in Maids Moreton, near Buckingham. (PA)

At trial, Field admitted he had drugged Farquhar as a form of gaslighting to make him question his sanity and used it to torment him.

He was also accused of the attempted murder of Moore-Martin, Farquhar's deeply religious neighbour, and the relationship between her and Field unlocked a series of chilling revelations when police began to investigate further.

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One of the most complex and confounding criminal cases in recent memory, it has been adapted into a four-part drama that has already begun filming in Bristol and Bath, and celebrates Farquhar and Moore-Martin’s lives as cherished mentors, much loved relatives and adored friends as it has been made in cooperation with their families.

Timothy Leonard Spall attends the
Timothy Spall plays murder victim Peter Farquhar. (Getty Images for ZFF)

Spall, who plays Farquhar, said: "When I received Sarah Phelps’ brilliant scripts I knew this was an essential story to tell. I am honoured to be playing the remarkable Peter Farquhar and hope I do him justice, which is the very least he deserves."

He stars alongside Reid as Moore-Martin, who said: "I found the story of The Sixth Commandment extremely disturbing and I feel a great sense of responsibility in portraying this good, kind, trusting woman, Ann, who was so cruelly deceived."

Normal People's Hardwicke plays Field and the series is penned by Sarah Phelps, writer of A Very British Scandal and The Pale Horse.

The cast also includes Ben Bailey Smith, Conor MacNeill, Adrian Rawlins and Amanda Root.