New BBC Drama set to tell the story of how Grand Theft Auto was born.

BBC Two is preparing a 90-minute drama that focuses on the creation of, and fallout from Grand Theft Auto, describing it as “the greatest British coding success story since Bletchley Park” (the story of the codebreaker who helped shorten WWII by two years).

The drama is part of an initiative called BBC Make it Digital, a movement that seeks to inspire young creatives to pick up coding and programming skills. Part of this initiative is a season of themed content across TV, online and radio. Some of this content will be original, others based on well-known, established brands. All of these shows build up to a “big moment in September” according to the press release.

The GTA drama will spotlight how the game was conceived, built and then became the subject of public outcry due to it’s violent gameplay.

Here’s the full official description from the BBC:

Grand Theft Auto (BBC Two)
This special 90-minute drama will tell the story of arguably the greatest British coding success story since Bletchley Park — the triumph of the computer game Grand Theft Auto.

Unlike many coding success stories, Grant Theft Auto was not created in Silicon Valley – it was the brainchild of a bunch of British gaming geniuses who had known each other since their school days. In autumn 2013 its latest iteration — GTA:V — earned $1bn in its first three days, becoming the fastest selling entertainment product in history.

GTA offered gamers the chance to step into a fantasy world where they could behave like criminals, gun down rival gangsters and cops, hijack cars and venture deeper into an imaginary American gangland underworld.

But the violent gameplay coupled with its outstanding success led to fierce opposition: from parents worried about children immersing themselves in such a violent world; from politicians, alarmed at the values it encourages; and above all from moral-campaigners, who have fought passionately to stop it.
Grand Theft Auto tells the story of how the game was conceived and created and the subsequent fallout as various groups objected to its violent gameplay.

Other shows include Doctor Who, Eastenders and a new show called Girls Can Code which is billed as a talent show with a difference.


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David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.