BAFTA award-winning actor Malachi Kirby (Anansi Boys, Small Axe) and Erin Doherty (Chloe, The Crown) have joined the cast of Disney+’s ‘A Thousand Blows,’ an epic new 12-part series set in the perilous world of illegal boxing in 1880s Victorian London.

The series follows Hezekiah (Kirby) and Alec – played by Francis Lovehall – two best friends from Jamaica who find themselves thrust into the vibrant and violent melting pot of post-industrial revolution London’s East End. Drawn into the criminal underbelly of the thriving boxing scene, Hezekiah meets Mary Carr (Doherty), leader of The Forty Elephants – the notorious all-female London gang – as they battle for survival on the streets. As Hezekiah sharpens his new skills, he comes up against Sugar Goodson (Graham), a seasoned and dangerous boxer and the two are soon locked into an intense rivalry that spills out way beyond the ring.

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Additional cast joining the production are Jason Tobin as Mr Lao and James Nelson-Joyce as Edward “Treacle” Goodson. The Forty Elephants will feature Hannah Walters as Eliza Moody, Nadia Albina as Verity Ross, Morgan Hilaire as Esme Long, Jemma Carlton as Belle Downer and Caoilfhionn Dunne as Anne Glover.

Created by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Spencer, Taboo), starring and executive produced by Stephen Graham (Help, Time, The Irishman). Steven Knight is the lead writer for the series, with episodes also written by a group of new voices including Ameir Brown, Insook Chappell, Harlan Davies and Yasmin Joseph. Tinge Krishnan (WeCrashed, Mosquito Coast, Industry) will serve as lead director and executive producer, with Ashley Walters and Coky Giedroyc joining as series directors.

Filming is underway in the UK.