A drama starring the new companion, Jenna-Louise Coleman, is set to screen on BBC4 after a copyright issue delayed its release.
Room at the Top is an adaptation of John Braine’s 1957 novel of the same name, and was originally due to air at 9pm on 7th April 2011. But the two hour-long episodes, with a cast led by Matthew McNulty (The Syndicate; Toast) and Maxine Peake (Dinnnerladies; Silk), was pulled from the schedule after a dispute about whether the broadcasting rights had been secured.
Braine’s estate is represented by David Higman Associates and Remus Films, and the former sold the rights to Great Meadow Productions; a sale which Remus Films challenged. As Mark Lawson wrote for The Guardian:
“Every year, movies are delayed and theatre, TV and radio productions abandoned because of a copyright claim from a third party who claims to have signed an exclusive deal… Though it is no consolation to the frustrated producers and viewers, there is a certain neatness to the case turning on whether a book with this title may have been illegally sublet.”
Jenna-Louise plays Susan Brown, the daughter of the richest man in Warley, where the protagonist, Joe Lampton (McNulty) escapes to, and the two date. However, Lampton, instead, falls in love with Alice Aisgill (Peake), a married woman ten years his senior. Coleman’s on-screen father is played by Kevin McNally (Life on Mars; Spooks), who starred as Hugo Lang in Colin Baker’s debut as the Doctor, The Twin Dilemma.
Though the transmission date of Room at the Top is still unknown, Kasterborous would hazard a guess that it’ll air near Christmas – when Jenna takes over as companion on Doctor Who – and a new edition of the original novel will also hit shelves!