The BBC has commissioned Tom Stoppard to write a major new drama series for them – Dr Shipman’s Casebook. James Bolam is to play a crusty old GP, based in the North-West, with Dame Judy Dench in the role of his worldly-wise housekeeper. Brinsley Forde is slated as the young, recently qualified doctor in his first appointment since graduating from medical school, although he has not yet agreed to the role.
Guest stars will be cast each week in the role of one of the doctor’s older patients, and it is believed that Tom Courtenay will be seen (quite frequently) in a cameo role as the local undertaker.
The serial will be in 216 episodes. Sources close to the BBC say that the final episode will feature the suicide of the beloved old doctor.