E4 is strapping on its backpack and going travelling, having commissioned an exciting and funny original comedy-drama series Foreign Bodies (8 x 45’) from Eleven.
Foreign Bodies is the story of a motley gang of travellers embarking on a three month trip around Asia. British lads Sean and Dylan meet American girls May and Ashley in Beijing and opt to undergo the first leg of their travels together, but soon find that their journey takes them much further than any of them expected.
Despite wielding Lonely Planet guides, digital cameras and water purification tablets, our gang is not treating this as a holiday, and all have a personal quest that’s brought them halfway round the world. May wants to meet her extended family in China and reconnect with her roots, Ashley is hell-bent on cramming in a lifetime of exotic experiences before she starts her high-flying career back home, Dylan wants to track down and win back his ex-girlfriend, Sean wants to shed his innocence and forcibly grow up, and Greg, a 38 year old divorcee who doesn’t want to travel alone, hopes to roll back the years and relive the wild hedonism of his youth..
Will the gang manage to find the nirvana they seek as they camp on the Great Wall, wade through jungles in Malaysia, rub shoulders with ex-pats in Singapore and the crowds that throng the banks of the Ganges? Or will they lose their money, their passports and control of their bowels in a filthy backpacking hostel that doesn’t exist on Google maps? None of them get what they hoped for, but all gain something better, as they learn that no matter how far you go and how hard you try, you can’t take a holiday from yourself.
Piers Wenger, Head of Drama for Channel 4, commented: “Tom’s script captures perfectly the pleasures and the pain of the gap year backpacker as he follows the experiences of five young travellers on an epic and hilarious quest to find paradise while also trying to find themselves.”
Executive Producers Joel Wilson and Jamie Campbell of Eleven added; “We’re thrilled to be embarking – quite literally – on this adventure with Tom. He’s a brilliant, funny and deeply perceptive writer and in Jonathan we have a hugely dynamic and inventive director. E4 is a fantastically audacious, exciting broadcaster and – alongside eOne – the perfect partner for this extraordinary show.”
Foreign Bodies is written by Tom Basden, whose previous credits include Fresh Meat, The Wrong Mans and Plebs. Jonathan van Tulleken (Misfits, Top Boy) is on board to direct several episodes. The writing team includes James Wood (Rev), Tony Roche (Veep, In The Loop, Holy Flying Circus), Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), Charlie Covell (Banana, Burn Burn Burn, awarded BAFTA breakthrough Brit), and Edinburgh Comedy award-winning writers Tim Key (Alan Partridge) and Johnny Sweet (Together).
This is the second E4 commission for Eleven, who previously produced Glue, which aired on E4 in 2014 and The Enfield Haunting for Sky last year. Foreign Bodies is executive produced by Eleven’s Jamie Campbell (Glue, The Enfield Haunting) and Joel Wilson (Glue, The Enfield Haunting), the series was commissioned for E4 by Piers Wenger, Head of Drama for Channel 4, and commissioning editor Roberto Troni, and will begin filming in 2016. Entertainment One (eOne), the global independent studio, serves as a co-production partner on Foreign Bodies and will handle worldwide distribution.