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Braveheart gets the TV treatment

They may take away our Hollywood superstars, but they’ll never take our freedom to rewrite history. That may be the war cry of the production team behind a planeed TV drama on the life of William Wallace, known to chums as Braveheart.

The risibly inaccurate 1995 Mel Gibson movie is popularly credited with sparking a resurgence of nationalist fervour in Scotland. It was so popular that there is now a statue of Gibson in the shadow of the actual Wallace Monument. With an independence referendum timed for 2014, it is an opportune time to burnish the myth of Scotland’s most famous freedom fighter (apart from that chap with the spider).

The series is being made by STV Productions in partnership with the Digital Rights Group and the Los Angeles company Nine/8 Entertainment. The nationalist Scottish Government will be contributing finance through Creative Scotland’s Development Fund.

STV’s director of content Alan Clements said: "This was a turbulent time in Scotland's history, in which William Wallace had a starring and pivotal role. We plan to delve deep into his character and explore his passions, bringing parts of history to life in a spectacular and raw depiction. With all eyes on Scotland in the current political climate, this also seems to be a very appropriate time to tell this story in more depth."

The tricky bit may be redressing some of the myths perpetuated by Gibson’s propaganda film. Although the actor might be a tough act to follow for whoever is cast in the lead.

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