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Prasanna Puwanarajah of The Crown to co-write Breathtaking adaptation- Cinema express

Prasanna Puwanarajah of The Crown to co-write Breathtaking adaptation

Set when the UK was being ravaged by COVID-19, Breathtaking provides an insider's look at the pandemic from a doctor's point of view

Published: 06th November 2022

England-based Sri Lankan medic-turned-actor Prasanna Puwanarajah, who plays Martin Bashir in Season 5 of The Crown, is working in tandem with Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio over an adaptation of Rachel Clarke's pandemic-themed bestseller Breathtaking.

The book is being developed as a three-part as-yet-untitled drama for UK broadcaster ITV, Puwanarajah, who was formerly a doctor with the UK's National Health Service (NHS), as was Mercurio, told Variety. Clarke is writing the drama with Puwanarajah and Mercurio.

Set when the UK was being ravaged by COVID-19, Clarke's book provides an insider's look at the pandemic from a hospital doctor's point of view.

"Rachel Clarke is a palliative care doctor who I used to work with in the NHS when I was a first-year junior doctor and she was a medical student -- I taught her how to do IV drip lines. And she's now an incredible statesperson for the NHS and advocates for NHS staff and patients," Puwanarajah told Variety.

"It's looking at the lives of healthcare professionals in the first few months of the pandemic," Puwanarajah said. "I'm very keen to get what I think is a really important piece of public interest drama out into the world. Because, we've been living through tough times, it is important to challenge the shifting landscape of truth that we are told and to push back against that with information and facts based on witnessed events. It's something that's really important to me."

Variety further states that Mercurio and Puwanarajah previously collaborated on the graphic novel Sleeper, where the worlds of science fiction, conspiracy thriller, and Westerns collide. Puwanarajah also starred in Mercurio's Sky medical drama Critical and is currently filming ITV crime drama Payback, which is executive produced by Mercurio.

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