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BBC Two to show Asian tsunami drama in autumn line-up

LONDON - BBC Two is to take the controversial step of leading its autumn schedule with a drama re-enactment of last Boxing Day's Asian tsunami disaster, in which more than 180,000 people died and 42,000 went missing.

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The drama, entitled 'Tsunami - The Aftermath', will star 'Reservoir Dogs' actor Tim Roth and Toni Collette, star of 'The Sixth Sense'. It is based on first-hand accounts and interviews with survivors.

Roly Keating, controller of BBC Two, said: "'Tsunami - The Aftermath' really gets inside the issues and lessons for humanity raised by a disaster of such extraordinary magnitude.
 
"Its intention is to mark the unique nature and scale of this tragedy, and to pay tribute to some of the victims' and survivors' incredible courage."

The channel will also broadcast two programmes about manic depression, starring comedian and raconteur Stephen Fry, entitled, 'Stephen Fry - The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive'.

Fry speaks about his own problems with the disease and talks to other well-known personalities and members of the public that have also lived with the aliment.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the execution of senior Nazi criminals, a drama-documentary series 'Nuremberg' goes behind the scenes of one of the most famous trials in history.

Adam Curtis, producer of 'The Power of Nightmares', returns with a series addressing the death of altruism and the collapse of trust, 'Cold Cold Heart'.

Bridging the gap between factual and entertainment, 'Dragons' Den' returns to the channel with two new dragons, Deborah Meaden and Richard Farleigh, who join Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne and Theo Paphitis in discovering who can cut it as an entrepreneur.

To counteract the somewhat downbeat aspect of the schedule, BBC Two will continue its strong comedy heritage during the autumn series.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's hit series 'Extras' returns for a second series, in which Andy Millman moves from background artist to recognition as he begins to film his sitcom.
 
This series features celebrity appearances from Orlando Bloom, David Bowie, 'Harry Potter' star Daniel Radcliffe, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Ronnie Corbett and Sir Ian McKellan.

Comedienne Catherine Tate will also return for a third series of her award-winning sketch show 'The Catherine Tate Show'.

The channel has also commissioned the 'Band of Brothers'-style mini series 'Into the West' from acclaimed Hollywood director and producer Steven Spielberg.

The series concentrates on the period from 1825 to 1892 in the US, following the lives and times of two-multi-generational families.  

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