BBC Two has commissioned a fictional seven-part drama from Jimmy McGovern based on a penal colony In Australia in the 18th Century.

Banished begins filming north of Sydney this April and is due to be broadcast on the channel in 2015.

Joining the cast are Ripper Street star MyAnna Buring, Being Human’s Russell Tovey and Julian Rhind-Tutt (The Hour).

The drama charts the lives, loves, relationships and battle for survival of a group of convicts, the soldiers who guard them and the men who govern them in the early days of this settlement.

McGovern says: “How the first convicts survived is the best story I've come across in over 30 years as a dramatist. When you've got something like that, you don't worry about the narrative; you just concentrate on the characters. That is what we did. Consequently, I don't think I've ever written anything so character-driven."