Bridgerton star Claudia Jessie has joined the cast of Netflix’s upcoming series, Toxic Town, which focuses on one of Britain’s biggest environmental scandals, The Corby Poisonings.
The four-part film tells the story of three mothers’ fight for justice after a toxic waste spill in the town of Corby in Northamptonshire.
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Claudia, who is perhaps best known for her role as Eloise Bridgerton in the hit Netflix period drama, is a new addition to the star-studded cast, alongside Game of Thrones star Joe Dempsie and Gallows actor Michael Socha.
The series, written by award-winning writer Jack Thorne, also stars Jodie Whittaker (A doctor who is), Robert Carlyle (Train spotting), Aimee Lou Wood (Sexual education), Rory Kinnear (Diplomat) and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey).
Black mirror Creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ production company, Broke And Bones, is behind the series, with Minkie Spiro (Better call Saul) takes on the role of director.
© LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX Claudia Jessie is known for her role as Eloise Bridgerton in Bridgerton
The synopsis reads: “Toxic City is a story of community, focused on three mothers who fight David and Goliath for justice. Following years of their struggle, a terrible truth comes to the surface – the truth of harsh injustice.”
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Jack Thorne said of the drama: “The Corby toxic waste case is one of those defining moments in history. It showed our ability to close our eyes and ears to the safety of our people. It also showed the extraordinary way people will fight for what is correct.
© Netflix Jodie Whittaker, Robert Carlyle, Aimee Lou Wood, Rory Kinnear and Brendan Coyle star in Toxic Town
“Toxic City tells the story of these funny, brave, amazing women and how they gave up everything for their children. It was a real privilege to work with Annabel, Minkie, Delyth and the whole Broke & Bones family on this amazing story, and we are very grateful to Netflix for giving us the opportunity and support to tell it.”
What is Toxic Town about?
The upcoming series focuses on the Corby Poisonings, in which the Northamptonshire town was exposed to a large amount of toxic waste in the 1980s and 1990s, leading to one of the UK’s worst cases of child poisoning.
So what exactly happened?
© Photo: BBCDoctor Who Jodie Whittaker will star in the series
Following the closure of one of Europe’s largest steelworks in the early 80s, Corby Borough Council undertook the demolition and excavation of the site. This involved transporting waste through populated areas to a quarry north of the site. The waste was transported in open trucks that poured sludge on the roads and released large amounts of dust into the air.
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In the years that followed, rates of upper limb defects in babies born in Corby were almost three times higher than in surrounding areas.
© Netflix Rory Kinnear from The Diplomat appears in the series
This led to a landmark court case in 2009 in which 18 young people claimed that waste dumped between 1984 and 1999 was the cause of their deformities.
In his ruling, the judge found Corby Borough Council liable for negligence, public nuisance and breach of statutory duty. The case, dubbed “Britain’s Erin Brockovich,” led to a historic decision that was the first in the world to establish a link between atmospheric toxic waste and birth defects.