Creator Neil Cross has revealed part Bowie song played in thriller Hard Sun, which starts on BBC1 on Saturday

Neil Cross, the man behind BBC1’s new sci-fi drama Hard Sun, had said he found the inspiration for his “pre-apocalyptic thriller” while listening to David Bowie’s song Five Years.

Hard Sun sees DCI Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess) and his new partner DI Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn) discovering some top-secret intelligence about an extinction-level event that will wipe out life on Earth in five years time.

Luther creator Neil revealed: ‘‘The David Bowie song Five Years was the inspiration. The narrator has learned the world has got only five years left. In lesser hands it could have been nihilistic and maudlin, but in fact it becomes a celebration of everyday things.

“In the light of the inevitability of its destruction, everything suddenly is afforded infinite value.”

Neil added that to make sure the sci-fi aspect of the six-part series was believable he enlisted the help of Professor Brian Cox, who had previously been a consultant on Danny Boyle’s 2007 film Sunshine, in which a dying Sun puts Earth at risk.

“We wanted to make sure the sci-fi in the show is grounded in some kind of science fact,” he said.

“I like to read popular cosmology to relax. There’s a poetry and grandeur to it, and a sense of cosmic horror – the sheer vastness of the cosmos and how that corresponds to our small but still meaningful lives.

“We don’t reveal what the Hard Sun event is – and all the way through we are asking: “What is Hard Sun?” And according to Cox, it’s unlikely but possible.”

Hard Sun beings on BBC1 on Saturday at 9.35pm.