While WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are still ongoing in Hollywood, Netflix UK is still hard at work in producing new content for the streamer because all actors are under the UK’s Equity Actors union contracts rather than SAG. One of these new productions is a limited series called Toxic Town, which will tell the story of the real-life Corby Toxic Waste Case.
The series is created by Jack Thorne, whose credits include National Treasure, Wonder, Enola Holmes, and more. All episodes are written by Thorne, with Episode 3 co-written with Amy Trigg (Ralph & Katie).
Netflix first announced the project on August 10th.
Minkie Spiro is directing all four episodes of Toxic Town. Her credits include Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, and the upcoming Netflix series 3 Body Problem. Tony Miller serves as director of photography.
Producer Annabel Jones said:
“We are thrilled to be working with the hugely talented Jack Thorne. He is the voice of this generation and brings an intelligence, an intensity and an empathy to the human story behind this landmark case. Jack compassionately explores the interplay between a local community’s desire for economic prosperity and the environmental and human cost. A story which is as pertinent today as it was then.”
Toxic Town is produced by Broke & Bones (Black Mirror) and executive produced by Annabel Jones, Jack Thorne, Minkie Spiro, and Delyth Scudamore.
What’s the plot of Toxic Town?
The four-part limited series is inspired by the real-life legal battle following the Corby poisoning. Corby is a Northamptonshire town once home to a steelworks which closed in 1981 – but not before a huge amount of toxic waste was deposited there. Efforts to remove the waste led to it contaminating populated areas and communities, having an effect on local residents and their health. A landmark case later proved that the environmental damage caused by the way Corby Borough Council moved the waste led to birth defects, with a way-above-average number of people in Corby born with upper-limb defects.
According to Netflix, Toxic Town is a story about community, focusing on three mothers who take on a David and Goliath fight for justice. By tracing through the years of their fight, a terrible truth comes to the surface – one of stinging injustice.
Jack Thorne commented via a press release:
“The Corby Toxic Waste Case is one of those moments in history that is defining. It showed our ability to close our eyes and ears to the safety of our people. It also showed the remarkable way that people will fight for what’s right. Toxic Town tells the story of these funny, brave, incredible women and the way they scrapped for their children. It has been a true privilege working with Annabel, Minkie, Delyth and the whole Broke & Bones family on this incredible story, and we are so grateful to Netflix for giving us the opportunity and support in telling it.”
Who is cast in Toxic Town?
Netflix’s Toxic Town stars Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who, Broadchurch), Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, Trainspotting), Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education, Living), Rory Kinnear (The Diplomat, James Bond) and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey, Spotless)
Three further cast members have been announced for Toxic Town. Claudia Jessie (Bridgerton), Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones), and Michael Socha (This Is England).
How many episodes will be in Toxic Town?
Netflix confirmed that Toxic Town will be a four-episode limited series. Each episode is expected to last an hour.
What’s the production status of Toxic Town?
Filming for Netflix’s Toxic Town started in late August 2023. Production is taking place in Liverpool and other locations.
The Liverpool Echo reported in early September that camera crews and film equipment “were in position outside the Town Hall and in Exchange Flags in Liverpool city centre.” The outlet states, “The council chamber will also be transformed into a courtroom for the production.”
Here’s some behind-the-scenes pictures of Toxic Town filming courtesy of Mark Campbell/Paul Cousans MCPIX Ltd.
What’s the Netflix release date for Toxic Town?
Netflix hasn’t announced the release date for Toxic Town as of yet, but given its production schedule, it would stand to reason to see a release sometime in the second half of 2024.