Stephen Graham to star in new Disney+ period drama A Thousand Blows by Steven Knight

The new 12-part series is set in the perilous world of illegal boxing in 1880s Victorian London.


Brought to life by acclaimed screenwriter Steven Knight, A Thousand Blows follows Hezekiah and Alec, two best friends from Jamaica who find themselves thrust into the vibrant and violent melting pot of post-industrial revolution London's East End.


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


As Hezekiah sharpens his new skills, he comes up against Sugar Goodson, a seasoned and dangerous boxer played by Stephen Graham, and the two are soon locked into an intense rivalry that spills out way beyond the ring.


Speaking about the new series, Stephen Graham said "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."


To which Steven Knight added "I’m really thrilled to be working on this project with Stephen as well as the very talented production team and a 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."


The series is being produced by The Story Collective in a co-production with Matriarch Productions and Water & Power Productions. Steven Knight is the lead writer for the series, with episodes also written by Ameir Brown, Insook Chappell, Harlan Davies and Yasmin Joseph.


Tinge Krishnan will serve as lead director and executive producer and executive produced by Lee Mason, Director.


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


A Thousand Blows will air on Disney+