Summer of Rockets

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Summer of Rockets
Summer of Rockets.jpg
Screenplay byStephen Poliakoff
Directed byStephen Poliakoff
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Executive producer(s)
  • Helen Flint
  • Lucy Richer
Production location(s)
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Little Island Productions
Original networkBBC Two
Audio formatStereo
Original release22 May (2019-05-22) –
26 June 2019 (2019-06-26)

Summer of Rockets is a six-episode British Cold War television miniseries, which premiered on BBC Two in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2019.[1] The series was written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff and stars Keeley Hawes, Linus Roache, Timothy Spall and Toby Stephens.[2]


A Russian-born Jewish inventor, now living in England, Samuel Petrukhin, is tasked with a secret mission by MI5. Samuel specialises in the development of hearing aids and is asked to use his technological expertise to contribute to western Cold War efforts. Following the tensions of the Space Race and the first hydrogen bomb test, Samuel's efforts play a part in the emergence of the modern world.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [6]UK viewers
(millions) [7]
1"Episode 1"Stephen PoliakoffStephen Poliakoff22 May 2019 (2019-05-22)2.76
In the summer of 1958, hearing-aid manufacturer Samuel Petrukhin is preparing to launch his revolutionary new invention. When his son goes missing on a day out at the horse races, he meets the mysterious Shaw family for the first time.
2"Episode 2"Stephen PoliakoffStephen Poliakoff29 May 2019 (2019-05-29)1.99
3"Episode 3"Stephen PoliakoffStephen Poliakoff5 June 2019 (2019-06-05)1.74
4"Episode 4"Stephen PoliakoffStephen Poliakoff12 June 2019 (2019-06-12)1.83
5"Episode 5"Stephen PoliakoffStephen Poliakoff19 June 2019 (2019-06-19)1.52
6"Episode 6"Stephen PoliakoffStephen Poliakoff26 June 2019 (2019-06-26)1.38



Summer of Rockets was originally announced in May 2017 alongside two other BBC commissions, which were 2017's Little Women and 2018's A Very English Scandal.[8] In May 2018, Keeley Hawes, Toby Stephens, Timothy Spall and Linus Roache were announced as joining the project.[2]


Filming began in Oxford and in London in May 2018.[2] Filming also took place in Stevenage in July 2018 at Benington Lordship, and at Reddam House, Berkshire in August.[9] Filming also took place at The Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire in August 2018 and at the former RAF Upper Heyford air base in Oxfordshire.

The streets outside the Ropery at the Chatham Dockyard in Kent were used to film the 1950s civil defence exercise in the series and the upper floors of the Ropery itself featured as civil defence training rooms.[10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "BBC - BBC Two announces Toby Stephens, Keeley Hawes, Linus Roache and Timothy Spall lead cast of Stephen Poliakoff's Summer Of Rockets - Media Centre". Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Summer Of Rockets: Keeley Hawes and more confirmed for new BBC drama". Den of Geek. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens to lead new BBC Cold War drama". Radio Times. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Greg Austin plays Anthony Shaw in the new Stephen Poliakoff drama 'Summer of Rockets' for BBC two". Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Summer of Rockets – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  7. ^ "Four Screen Dashboard". BARB. See relevant channel and week(s). Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Stephen Poliakoff is back on BBC2 with Summer of Rockets". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  9. ^ McEvoy, Louise. "BBC crews spotted filming new drama Summer of Rockets in Benington and Watton-at-Stone". The Comet. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Kent Film Office Summer of Rockets Article". Kent Film Office.

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