Channel 4 to continue filming 'slanderous farce' about North Korea despite threats from Pyongyang

Opposite Number tells the story of a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner by authorities in the communist state
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The Independent Culture

Channel 4 has pledged it will continue work on a controversial new drama series about North Korea despite Pyongyang having labelled it a "slanderous farce" that should be thrown "into a cesspit".

The channel said Opposite Number, about a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner by the North Korean authorities, was in development.

In a statement released in September, North Korea's most senior military body, the National Defence Commission, said the UK authorities should "punish those behind the project".

Last week Sony Pictures cancelled the opening of its new North Korea-based comedy The Interview following a cyber attack blamed on hackers working for Pyongyang.

A source at Channel 4 confirmed that there were no plans to pull Opposite Number but admitted that the channel intended to conduct "due diligence" on the project before filming.

Opposite Number has been described by Channel 4 as an "ambitious, suspense-filled original drama series spanning the UK, US and North Korea".

If is written by the British playwright and screenwriter Matt Charman and is about a British nuclear scientist who is taken prisoner, triggering an international crisis which itself must be kept secret.

Charman has said of the series: “North Korea is one of the last truly impenetrable nations on the planet, and one of the most dangerous for the West. I wanted to write a drama that could blow the lid off our understanding of who we think the North Korean people are and what their government truly wants.”