Small Axe (TV Mini-Series 2020– )

TVSeries


Small Axe (TV Series 2020– )

Small Axe is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
UK
IMDb  7.9 /10
Creators
Creator Steve McQueen
Creator Alastair Siddons
Information
Release Date2020-11-15
Runtime1h 0mins
GenreDrama
Content RatingTV-MA (TV-MA)
AwardsNominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 8 wins & 25 nominations.
CompanyBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Turbine Studios, Lammas Park
CountryUK
LanguageEnglish
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Dol Isaacs 1 episode, 2020
Breadstick 1 episode, 2020
Dennis Bovell
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Milton 1 episode, 2020
Kingsley Smith (Age 12) 1 episode, 2020
Taylor 1 episode, 2020
Darren Braithwaite
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Anthony Carlisle Inniss 1 episode, 2020
Fumilayo Brown-Olateju
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Dawn 1 episode, 2020
Grace 1 episode, 2020
Agnes Smith 1 episode, 2020
Chief Inspector 1 episode, 2020
Terry 1 episode, 2020
Rothwell Kentish 1 episode, 2020
Eddie Marks 1 episode, 2020
Stephanie Smith (Age 18) 1 episode, 2020
Leroy Logan 1 episode, 2020
Ross Cahill
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Perry 1 episode, 2020
Mr Stedman 1 episode, 2020
Daniel Francis
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Esmond Smith 1 episode, 2020
Daniel Francis-Swaby
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Bammy 1 episode, 2020
Mr Purling 1 episode, 2020
Alex Wheatle 1 episode, 2020
PC Royce 1 episode, 2020
Jabba 1 episode, 2020
Lydia Thomas 1 episode, 2020
Beck 1 episode, 2020
Mr Croft 1 episode, 2020
Zakiyyah Deen
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Rita 1 episode, 2020
Jermaine Freeman
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Skinner 1 episode, 2020
Joseph 1 episode, 2020
Hazel 1 episode, 2020
Hyacinth 1 episode, 2020
Valin 1 episode, 2020
Eddie Lecointe 1 episode, 2020
Cynthia 1 episode, 2020
Duane Facey-Pearson
Duane Facey-Pearson
Rupert Boyce 1 episode, 2020
Dexter Flanders
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Floyd 1 episode, 2020
Greg Huggan 1 episode, 2020
Alexander James-Blake
Alexander James-Blake
Parker B 1 episode, 2020
Jairaj Varsani
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Sajid 1 episode, 2020
Linda 1 episode, 2020
Simeon 1 episode, 2020
Aunt Betty 1 episode, 2020
Aiyana Goodfellow
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Nina 1 episode, 2020
Francis Lovehall
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Reggie 1 episode, 2020
Tabitha Byron
Tabitha Byron
Sheila (Age 10) 1 episode, 2020
Mrs Manning 1 episode, 2020
PC May 1 episode, 2020
Dennis Isaacs 1 episode, 2020
Patty 1 episode, 2020
CLR James 1 episode, 2020
John Hodgkinson
John Hodgkinson
Police Interviewer 1 episode, 2020
Mrs. Tabitha Bartholomew 1 episode, 2020
Cook 1 episode, 2020
Samson 1 episode, 2020
Shem Hamilton
Shem Hamilton
Benson 1 episode, 2020
Tyrone Huntley
Tyrone Huntley
Leee 1 episode, 2020
Nathan Moses
Nathan Moses
Ashley (Age 10) 1 episode, 2020
Asad-Shareef Muhammad
Asad-Shareef Muhammad
Young Alex 1 episode, 2020
Martha 1 episode, 2020
Chief Inspector 1 episode, 2020
Conor Lowson
Conor Lowson
David 1 episode, 2020
Cutlass Rankin 1 episode, 2020
Kemal Sylvester
Kemal Sylvester
Bus Driver 1 episode, 2020
Clifton 1 episode, 2020
Miss Gill 1 episode, 2020
Granville 1 episode, 2020
Tom Mahy
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PC Trent 1 episode, 2020
Mrs Isaacs 1 episode, 2020
Lizard 1 episode, 2020
Godfrey Millett 1 episode, 2020
Jesse 1 episode, 2020
Louis j Rhone
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Rankin's Dread 1 episode, 2020
Franklyn 1 episode, 2020
Mr. Baines 1 episode, 2020
Mr. Hamley 1 episode, 2020
Doreen Ingleton
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Mrs Tetley 1 episode, 2020
Inspector Willis 1 episode, 2020
Xavien Russell
Xavien Russell
Friend at Lincoln's 1 episode, 2020
Roshawn Hewitt
Roshawn Hewitt
Baz (Age 13) 1 episode, 2020
Tayo Jarrett
Tayo Jarrett
Linton 1 episode, 2020
Drill Instructor 1 episode, 2020
Lennox Tuitt
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Lincoln 1 episode, 2020
Judge Edward Clarke 1 episode, 2020
Tut Nyuot
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Abraham 1 episode, 2020
Headmaster Mr Evans 1 episode, 2020
Leah Walker
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Beverley 1 episode, 2020
Card Player 1 episode, 2020
Augustin 1 episode, 2020
PC Cooper 1 episode, 2020
Shanelle Young
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Gloria Isaacs 1 episode, 2020
Mrs. Morrison 1 episode, 2020
Darcus Howe 1 episode, 2020
Jaden Oshenye
Jaden Oshenye
Leee (14 Yrs) 1 episode, 2020
Sam Fourness
Sam Fourness
Mr. Kimble 1 episode, 2020
Dr Chadee 1 episode, 2020
Senior Officer 1 episode, 2020
Ralph Davis
Ralph Davis
Mr. Townsend 1 episode, 2020
Ian Macdonald 1 episode, 2020
Cory Peterson
Cory Peterson
Philford 1 episode, 2020
Rhodan Gordan 1 episode, 2020
Kayla Meikle
Kayla Meikle
Mrs. Howard 1 episode, 2020
Mrs Logan 1 episode, 2020
Pupil 1 episode, 2020
Selma James 1 episode, 2020
Eddie-Joe Robinson
Eddie-Joe Robinson
PC Millar 1 episode, 2020
Samantha 1 episode, 2020
Tahj Miles
Tahj Miles
Kendrick Manning 1 episode, 2020
Ed Harrigan 1 episode, 2020
Steven O'Neill
Steven O'Neill
Magistrate 1 episode, 2020
Class Instructor 1 episode, 2020
Frank Crichlow 1 episode, 2020
Gretl 1 episode, 2020
Telvin Parr
Telvin Parr
Titch 1 episode, 2020
Kenneth Logan 1 episode, 2020
PC Dixon 1 episode, 2020
Nathan Vidal
Nathan Vidal
Leroy (14 Yrs) 1 episode, 2020
Barbara Beese 1 episode, 2020
Asif 1 episode, 2020
Duty Officer 1 episode, 2020
PC Pulley 1 episode, 2020
Court Officer 1 episode, 2020
Mr Hill 1 episode, 2020
Altheia Jones 1 episode, 2020

Small Axe (anthology)

Small Axe is a British anthology film series, created and directed by Steve McQueen. The anthology consists of five films which tell distinct stories about the lives of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s. The series premiered on 15 November 2020 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on 20 November 2020 on Amazon Prime Video in the United States. The title references a proverb – "If you are the big tree, we are the small axe" – that was popularised by Bob Marley in his 1973 song "Small Axe".


Films

TitleDirectorScreenwritersUK release dateUS release date
MangroveSteve McQueenMcQueen and Alastair Siddons15 November 202020 November 2020
Lovers RockMcQueen and Courttia Newland22 November 202027 November 2020
Red, White and Blue29 November 20204 December 2020
Alex WheatleMcQueen and Alastair Siddons6 December 202011 December 2020
Education13 December 202018 December 2020

Production

Development

It has been reported that Steve McQueen began working on the idea for Small Axe in 2010, and that some form of the series was in development since 2012. While the series was initially conceived as a conventional television series with a serialized story, McQueen realized during development that he had sufficient material to make several distinct films. In January 2014, it was announced that he would write and direct an untitled series for either BBC One or BBC Two about the experience of Black people in Britain. In August 2015, it was announced that the series would air on BBC One. In June 2019, Amazon Prime Video was announced to be distributing the series in the United States, with Amazon Studios co-producing. The screenwriters include the British-Caribbean novelist Courttia Newland, author of The Gospel According to Cane (2013), and Alastair Siddons.

Casting

In June 2019, it was announced that Letitia Wright, John Boyega, Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, Rochenda Sandall, Alex Jennings and Jack Lowden had joined the cast of the series. In January 2020, Micheal Ward joined the cast of the series.


Release

Lovers Rock had its world premiere as the opener of the 58th New York Film Festival on 17 September 2020. Mangrove had its world premiere at the festival on 25 September, and Red, White, and Blue on 3 October. Mangrove also opened the 64th BFI London Film Festival on 7 October 2020; Lovers Rock screened at the same festival on 18 October.

The series premiered in the UK on BBC One on 15 November 2020 and in the United States on Amazon Prime Video on 20 November 2020, with one episode released per week on both platforms.


Reception

Critical response

The series received acclaim from critics. Josh Larsen compared McQueen's achievement to Krzysztof Kieślowski's Dekalog: "If Kieslowski's Decalogue is considered a pinnacle of the art form, McQueen's Small Axe deserves nothing less." Alissa Wilkinson of Vox called each instalment in the anthology "exquisite", "a remarkable achievement", and "exquisitely crafted".

Reviews of each individual film were positive. All five films received approval ratings of over 90% on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, while Metacritic assigned four of the five a score indicating "universal acclaim".

FilmRotten Tomatoes ratingMetacritic rating
Mangrove98% approval (9/10 average)90 (26 critics)
Lovers Rock97% approval (8.79/10 average)95 (27 critics)
Red, White and Blue97% approval (8.42/10 average)84 (18 critics)
Alex Wheatle97% approval (7.4/10 average)77 (17 critics)
Education94% approval (8.11/10 average)88 (13 critics)

Accolades

AwardCategoryNominee(s)ResultRef.
Boston Society of Film Critics AwardsBest CinematographyShabier Kirchner (for "Lovers Rock")Runner-up
Chicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest FilmLovers RockNominated
Best DirectorSteve McQueen (for "Lovers Rock")Nominated
Best Supporting ActressLetitia Wright (for "Mangrove")Nominated
Best CinematographyShabier Kirchner (for "Lovers Rock")Nominated
Best EditingChris Dickens and Steve McQueen (for "Lovers Rock")Nominated
Critics' Choice Television AwardsBest Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for TelevisionJohn Boyega (for "Red, White and Blue")Pending
Golden Globe AwardsBest Limited Series or Television FilmSmall AxePending
Best Supporting Actor – TelevisionJohn BoyegaPending
Independent Spirit AwardsBest New Scripted SeriesSmall AxePending
Los Angeles Film Critics Association AwardsBest PictureSmall AxeWon
Best DirectorSteve McQueenRunner-up
Best CinematographyShabier KirchnerWon
Best MusicMica Levi (for "Lovers Rock")Runner-up
New York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest CinematographerShabier KirchnerWon
Satellite AwardsBest Miniseries & Limited SeriesSmall AxePending
Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV FilmJohn BoyegaPending
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV FilmLetitia WrightPending