Allan Cubitt

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Allan Cubitt
OccupationWriter, director, producer
Years active1990 to present
Known forPrime Suspect II
The Fall

Allan Cubitt is a British television, film, and theater writer, director, and producer, best known for his work on Prime Suspect II and The Fall.[1][2]


In 1988, Cubitt got his start as a playwright where his play, Winter Darkness, won a Thames Television bursary award that funded a year long writer-in-residence program at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During that year, Cubitt wrote and directed The Pool of Bethesda in a production that starred the then Guildhall students Fay Ripley, Naveen Andrews and Peter Wingfield. That production of The Pool of Bethesda won the Thames Television Best New Play and Best Production Awards. It was subsequently restaged at the Orange Tree Theatre with a different cast. This led to scriptwriting work at the BBC.[1][3]

Cubitt's first TV script was 1990's The Land of Dreams, and was the story of an asylum-seeking Black South African struggling with his new life in the UK. The TV show featured the actor Antony Sher and was part of the long-running anthology Screenplay TV series on BBC Two.[4] In 1992, Cubitt wrote the script for The Countess Alice, a made-for-TV film starring Wendy Hiller and Zoë Wanamaker about the Berlin Wall coming down. The story was co-produced with WGBH-TV and was also part of Screenplay.[1]

1995's The Hanging Gale was a mini-series about the Great Famine in Ireland, and was Cubitt's first longer-form piece.[1]

Cubitt's first high-profile work as a writer was for the Helen Mirren mini-series, Prime Suspect II, which premiered in 1992. Cubitt wrote the four-hour serial for her.[5]

In 1997, Cubitt again worked with Helen Mirren on the mini-series, Painted Lady.[6] He wrote the part for Mirren.[7]

Also in 1997, Cubitt wrote the film St. Ives, known as All for Love in the United Kingdom, a romance featuring Miranda Richardson that was based on an unfinished work by Robert Louis Stevenson.[1]

In 2000, Cubitt wrote the script adaption for the Anna Karenina mini-series which starred Helen McCrory and was made for Channel 4. It later aired on Masterpiece Theatre in the United States.[6]

In 2002 and 2004, Cubitt worked on two separate Sherlock Holmes projects, an adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, a film project that starred Richard Roxburgh, and an original story called The Case of the Silk Stockings, which starred Rupert Everett.[1]

In 2009, Cubitt adapted the Simon Carr memoir, The Boys Are Back in Town, into the Australian film, The Boys Are Back, that starred Clive Owen and was directed by Scott Hicks.[8]

In 2011, Cubitt adapted the Martina Cole novel, The Runaway, which was broadcast as a TV series.

Cubitt created the 2013 BBC Two television series, The Fall, from an initial pitch in 2009.[9][10] The initial pitch was for twelve episodes, which ended up being split over the first two series.[11] The show, which Cubitt characterises as a psychological drama, stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan.[12][13] Cubitt wrote and produced the first series, then wrote, produced and directed series two and three. Northern Ireland and Belfast are both a setting, a character, and an integral part of the show, and Cubitt wrote the majority of the show while based there, and cast the majority of the actors from there.[14][15]

Cubitt is also a composer. He wrote a number of songs for 1997's Painted Lady, starring Helen Mirren. More recently, Cubitt contributed music throughout the three series of The Fall. He wrote Katie's songs and played guitar as she sings. Cubitt contributed two pieces of jazz music to the second series of The Fall, specifically episode 3, which was arranged and played by jazz pianist John Donaldson. He also wrote the music and played guitar and harmonica and sang "Spector's Blues," the song that played at the beginning of the second series of The Fall, episode 5 and again during Spector's dream in the car in episode 1 of season three.[16]

As of October 2016, Cubitt is working on a new British TV series as well as a play at National Theatre in London.[12]


  • 1988: Between The Lines at Waterman's Arts Centre, Brentford, London – Writer
  • 1988: Winter Darkness at New End Theatre, Hampstead – Writer
  • 1990: The Pool of Bethesda at Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond – Writer and Director


Works and publications[edit]

  • Cubitt, Allan (1988). Winter Darkness.
  • Cubitt, Allan (1992). The Pool of Bethesda. London: Warner Chappell Plays. ISBN 978-0-85-676156-0. OCLC 26719785. OL 24754004M.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Spicer, Andrew (November 2008). "Allan Cubitt". Journal of British Cinema and Television. 5 (2): 362–375. doi:10.3366/E1743452108000423. ISSN 1743-4521. OCLC 4665846312. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  2. ^ Billen, Andrew (7 September 2016). "TV Preview: The Fall. Q&A with Allan Cubitt, Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan BBC Two". British Film Institute.
  3. ^ "Allan Cubitt". BBC Writers Room. 24 November 2010. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010.
  4. ^ "ScreenPlay: The Land of Dreams". BBC Two. 13 March 1991.
  5. ^ Radish, Christina (30 January 2015). "Series Creator Allan Cubitt Talks The Fall, Writing for Gillian Anderson, and More". Collider.
  6. ^ a b "The Making of Anna Karenina: Interviews with the screenwriter and the star". Masterpiece Theatre. PBS. 2000.
  7. ^ Leonard, John (27 April 1998). "In Brief: "Painted Lady"". New York.
  8. ^ Chang, Justin (15 September 2009). "Review: 'The Boys Are Back'". Variety.
  9. ^ Cubitt, Allan (7 June 2013). "The Fall's writer Allan Cubitt on women and violence in TV drama". The Guardian.
  10. ^ "In Conversation With... Allan Cubitt: Creator, The Fall". World Screen. 14 May 2013.
  11. ^ Holmes, Leilani (31 October 2013). "Making 'The Fall'". London Screenwriters' Festival.
  12. ^ a b Atad, Corey (28 October 2016). "Why 'The Fall' Is Unlike Any Other Crime Show on Television". Esquire.
  13. ^ Lawson, Mark (13 May 2013). "Cultural Exchange - Archbishop of Canterbury; Food on stage; The Fall on TV, Front Row". BBC Radio 4.
  14. ^ "The Fall: BBC NI crime thriller gets second series". BBC News. 28 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Interview with Allan Cubitt (Creator and Director)". BBC. 19 September 2016.
  16. ^ Semlyen, Phil de (17 October 2016). "The Fall: 11 reasons you should be watching". Empire.
  17. ^ "Television Drama Serial in 1993: Nominees". BAFTA Awards. 1993.
  18. ^ "Television Drama Serial in 1996: Nominees". BAFTA Awards. 1996.
  19. ^ "2014 Television Mini Series: Nominees". BAFTA Awards. 2014.
  20. ^ Holmes, Leilani (26 October 2015). "The British Screenwriters' Awards 2015". London Screenwriters' Festival.

External links[edit]