Sam Riley in SS-GB BBC TV
Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer is played by Sam Riley in the BBC series SS-GB Premiere PR/BBC

A gripping new BBC drama depicting London under the Nazi regime if we had lost World War II has been sold to Germany, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The eagerly anticipated five-part adaptation of Len Deighton's critically acclaimed novel SS-GB will be coming to UK screens on 19 February.

Maleficent actor Sam Riley plays the lead role of DSI Douglas Archer of Scotland Yard in the series alongside Still Alice star Kate Bosworth, who plays a US journalist. Archer is employed by the SS but is also close to the British resistance movement.

He said: "Archer is a compelling and complex character. He is a good guy struggling to reconcile his job as a policeman within the repressive Nazi machine."

Its opening shots show British landmarks like Buckingham Palace bombed and draped in swastika flags. The king is in prison and Churchill has been assassinated.

The plot centres on Archer, while he follows up a routine murder case, he uncovers a secret underworld of British atomic weapons that are being pursued by the German military intelligent service, Abwehr.

The Sunday Times reported BBC Worldwide will announce this week it has sold the series to RTL, the main commercial broadcaster in Germany. The series featuring two leading German actors, Rainer Bock and Lars Eidinger will be shown at the Berlin Film Festival this week.

In the past, BBC also sold popular comedy-farce series 'Allo 'Allo, about Nazis in Occupied France, to Germany. And Fawlty Towers' "Don't mention the war" episodes from 1975, in which Basil Fawlty insults German guests with a wild goosestep and comments about World War II, was one of the series' most popular episodes when it was finally screened in Germany in 1993.