Birth of the SAS, founded by David Stirling, to be told in new BBC1 drama

Colonel David Stirling with a patrol of Special Air Service (SAS) men in the Middle East during World War Two

BBC1 has announced a major new drama telling the story of how the world’s most famous Special Forces unit, the SAS, was born.

Based on Ben MacIntyre’s best-selling book SAS: Rogue Heroes, the series will tell the remarkable tale of how the SAS came to exist in North Africa during World War Two.

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Adapted by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, it will reveal how officer David Stirling, the founder of the legendary organisation, and his men changed warfare by attacking the enemy behind their own battle lines in a string of daring escapades.

As the Beeb puts it, the series will “delve into the psychology of the flawed, reckless but astonishingly brave group of maverick officers and men who formed the SAS in the darkest days of World War Two”.

David Stirling Statue

Statue of David Stirling, famed for his daredevil exploits during World War Two (Alamy Stock Photo)

Steven Knight added: “This will be a secret history telling the story of exceptional soldiers who decided battles and won wars only to then disappear back into the shadows.

“We will shine a light on remarkable true events informed by the people who shaped them.”

MacIntyre had “unique and privileged access to the secret SAS archives” as he penned SAS: Rogue Heroes.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: “It is an honour to be working once again with the great Steve Knight. SAS: Rogue Heroes will lift the lid on the origins of one of Britain’s most iconic institutions and explore the characters, courage and flaws of the men involved with all of the honesty and swagger we have come to expect from Steve.”

Castings is yet to be announced for the six-part drama. The BBC is also yet to reveal when it will be screened.

Main picture: Alamy Stock photo.