Actor, comedian, and perpetual wanderlust-suffer Michael Palin has been cast in “The Wipers Times,” a World War I drama to air on BBC Two. Palin has hosted a number of documentary series in recent years, — his travel series “Palin’s Travels” was decidedly brilliant — but this is his first TV acting role since the 1990s.
“The Wipers Times” is based on the true story of a satirical newspaper put out by soldiers while encamped in Belgium in 1916, after one soldier (Captain Fred Roberts, to be played by Ben Chaplin) discovers a printing press in a bombed-out ruin.
“Just like the original Wipers Times, this new history drama will be filled with jokes, spoofs and amazing examples of courage behind the laughs,” BBC Two Controller Janice Hadlow tells BBC News. With a “Monty Python” alum on board, the jokes and spoofs should be good.
The drama also features Emilia Fox, and is written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. It will air in the U.K. later this year on BBC Two; there’s no word on whether it will make it to the United States.