Baghdad Central is a 6-part crime thriller for Channel 4, written by BAFTA-nominated writer Stephen Butchard
Baghdad, 2003. Saddam has fallen and the city lies at the centre of the coalition’s efforts to secure the region. Political insurgents battle while the occupying forces seek to make the impossible possible – with no plan of how to achieve it. In the midst of the chaos, crime and paranoia, Muhsin al-Khafaji, an Iraqi ex-policeman, has lost his home, his wife and his career and is battling to keep himself and his ailing daughter safe. When his desperate brother in-law asks Khafaji to help find his missing niece, Khafaji’s sense of love and duty force him to accept the task. But it quickly becomes clear that his enquiries are not welcome at the university where his niece studied, or in the occupying force’s Green Zone where she claimed to work as a translator. Khafaji and his daughter, Mrouj, are soon convinced there is more to discover than just a missing person.
When Khafaji is arrested and tortured by US forces in a case of mistaken identity, he meets British ex-police officer Frank Citrone who makes an offer he can’t refuse – medical supplies and safety for his daughter – in return for his skills as a police officer in the Green Zone.
In Baghdad Central, Stephen Butchard has created a powerfully authentic and gripping thriller, imbued with warmth and humanity, which not only brings vividly to life the tumult of wartime Iraq but is also an edge-of-the-seat tale of suspense involving murder, deceit, intrigue and political treachery.
Baghdad Central (6×60’) was commissioned for Channel 4 by Beth Willis, Head of Drama. Manpreet Dosanjh and Jonny Richards are Commissioning Executives for Channel 4. Filming took place in Morocco from 2018-19. The series is produced by Euston Films. Kate Harwood is executive producer, Jonathan Curling producer, Alice Troughton and Ben A Williams will direct, with the cast including Waleed Zuaiter, Bertie Carvel and Corey Stoll. Fremantle International will act as the global distributor for the series.