Fifty Fathoms is a British drama production company, set up in 2010 under the umbrella of Endemol Shine. The Company is run by Patrick Spence and Katie Swinden.

We create an environment in which a screenwriter can deliver their boldest work; and we will do whatever it takes to champion and protect the uniqueness of their vision.

Our productions to date include:


MARVELLOUS, Peter Bowker’s 90′ film for BBC2, starring Toby Jones and Gemma Jones, directed by Julian Farino, which won three BAFTA’s (Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress) and two RTS awards (Best Writer and Director) as well as several BPG and Writers Guild Awards.


GUERRILLA, a 6 part series for Sky Atlantic and Showtime, written and directed by Academy Award winner John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), starring Freida Pinto, Babou Ceesay, Rory Kinnear, Denise Gough, Zawe Ashton, Danny Mays and Idris Elba. GUERRILLA is about two black activists fighting back hard against a racist police force in 1970’s London.  The series launched in mid April.


FORTITUDE Seasons 1 and 2, Simon Donald’s horror story set in the Arctic for Sky Atlantic and Amazon, starring Dennis Quaid, Richard Dormer, Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci, Sofie Grabol, Ken Stott, Robert Sheehan, Michelle Fairley and Chris Eccleston.  The first season has been Sky Atlantic’s most successful commission ever; it won several BAFTA and RTS Craft Awards and the Broadcast Award for Best International Sales; and was nominated for Best Writer and Best Series at the BPG Awards.  Season Two beat Sky Atlantic’s records and launched as an Amazon Original in the US. We are currently in pre-production on the third series due to shoot in early 2018.


THE A WORD Seasons 1 and 2, Peter Bowker’s 6-part drama for BBC1 and Sundance,  starring Chris Eccleston, Morven Christie and Lee Ingleby, about a family coming to terms with the diagnosis of autism on their five year old son.  The second season is currently in production, following a critically acclaimed first run.

Patrick Spence – Managing Director

Since he set up Fifty Fathoms in 2010, Patrick has executive produced MARVELLOUS, Pete Bowker's 90' film for BBC2, starring Toby Jones and Gemma Jones, directed by Julian Farino; two seasons of FORTITUDE, Simon Donald's 10 x 1 hour crime thriller set in the Arctic for Sky Atlantic and Amazon, starring Stanley Tucci, Dennis Quaid, RICHARD DORMER, Michael Gambon and Sofie Grabol; TWO SEASONS OF THE A WORD, Pete Bowker's 6 x 60' series for BBC1 and Sundance, directed by Peter Cattaneo, starring Chris Eccleston, Lee Ingleby and Morven Christie, a co-production with Keshet; and the company are currently filming GUERRILLA, a 6 x 60' series for Sky Atlantic and Showtime, a co-production with ABC Signature, written and directed by the Academy Award winning John Ridley, starring Idris Elba, Freida Pinto, Babou Ceesay, Rory Kinnear, Danny Mays, DENISE GOUGH and Zawe Ashton, about two political activists fighting back hard against a racist police force in 1970's London.

Patrick was until 2010 the Head of Drama, BBC NI, where he commissioned and executive produced the BAFTA, RTS, WGA, BPG and Prix Europa Award winning serial OCCUPATION, and the BAFTA, RTS and Sundance Film Award winning single film FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN. Previous credits as Executive Producer include MESSIAH, MURPHY’S LAW, WAKING THE DEAD and SILENT WITNESS. His first job was as a Script Editor on Jimmy McGovern's CRACKER.

Sara Hamill - Director of Production

Sara join Fifty Fathoms as Director of Production in April 2018. She was previously Head of Production at Urban Myths Films.

Lisa Selway - Head of Legal & Business Affairs

Lisa joined Fifty Fathoms as the Head of Legal and Business Affairs in November 2017. She was previously Head of Legal at Company Pictures and The Agency. Having trained at SJ Berwin LLP (now King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin) Lisa qualified into the commercial media team before moving to work in-house.

Kathryn Pugsley - Development Executive

Kat began her career at ITV, after studying for an MA in English at Manchester University. She joined the team of Coronation Street, and over several happy years progressed from Script Secretary to Storyliner to Script Editor - as well as trying her hand at Assistant Producer.

Collaborating with writers is what she loves, and from the 20-strong writing team at Corrie, she branched out to work with newer writers on various shows for CBBC, including Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather, and the BAFTA/International Emmy-nominated football drama Jamie Johnson.

Kat remembers the night she watched Peter Bowker's Marvellous, and it remains one of her all-time favourite pieces of television. In autumn 2015, she told a Drama Executive at ITV that if she could work with one writer in her lifetime it would be Peter Bowker. Through what she believes was some kind of divine intervention, she landed the job of Script Editor on Series 1 of The A Word - and she and Bowker, and the team at Fifty Fathoms, forged a working relationship which continued into Series 2 . . . and beyond.

Kat is hugely proud of The A Word, and is thrilled to now be a part of the Fifty Fathoms Development team - where she gets to work with a host of brilliant writers every day of the week.

Harry Woodman - Production & Business Affairs Liaison

Harry joined Fifty Fathoms as the in-house production secretary in November 2016.

Starting as a runner on factual and entertainment shows for a variety of companies such as the BBC, Wall to Wall Media, Twenty Twenty and 12 Yard Productions, he made the transition into drama when he was selected for Tiger Aspect’s runner scheme as their drama department in house runner.
After nine months at Tiger, he went onto work on itv’s The Good Karma Hospital as the UK Production Assistant, before moving to Fifty Fathoms in November.