The co-creator of Life On Mars is developing a TV drama series which will feature Motown hits such as Martha & The Vandellas’ ‘Dancing In The Street’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’.
Tony Jordan, who as well as writing the period police drama has also written for EastEnders, Hustle and Death In Paradise, is working on a script for a series called Stop! In The Name Of Love, for which he’s secured the rights to use 40 songs from Motown catalogue.
Partly inspired by the success of ‘jukebox musicals’ such as ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘We Will Rock You’, the 10-part series will revolve around four “smart 30-somethings and their search for love and friendship” weaving in narratives from hit singles
Jordan told The Guardian: “No-one has ever done this kind of thing on TV, full stop. I’m talking about 100 women in burqas doing ‘Baby Love’, that’s a big deal. I always wanted to do a big, sexy, amazing musical for TV, something we’ve not seen since those old MGM musicals.”
Jordan said the Motown music is an essential element of the series, which aims to reflect the UK’s multicultural society. He added: “Motown was the first music that really went across the social divide; it came out of Detroit and it was the first music that brought black and white together for the first time in popular music. The Motown catalogue was important because we live in a more multicultural society than we ever have before, it feels the perfect time to do the show. I’ve always wanted to do a musical, look at the success of ‘Mamma Mia!’ at bringing drama and music together.
“It could take me 40 pages as a writer to get the audience to an emotional trigger to cry, I can do that in one page with music. I’m talking about a shortcut to an emotional trigger that only music can deliver.”