BBC One has released the first Bloodlands photos and confirmed more cast members as filming begins. The crime drama was created by writer Chris Brandon and is produced by HTM Television (co-owned by Jed Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions).
In the series, when a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough, Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) quickly connects it to an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance.
Bloodlands follows his hunt for the legendary assassin known as ‘Goliath’, an explosive cat-and-mouse game where the stakes have never been higher.
Joining the previously-announced James Nesbitt (The Missing, Cold Feet) in the drama are Lisa Dwan (Top Boy, Trust), Lorcan Cranitch (Fortitude, The Dig), Charlene McKenna (Ripper Street, Vienna Blood), Ian McElhinney (Derry Girls, Game of Thrones), Lola Petticrew (My Left Nut, Come Home), Chris Walley (The Young Offenders, 1917), Michael Smiley (Luther, Death and Nightingales), Kathy Kiera Clarke (Derry Girls, The Pale Horse), and Susan Lynch (Happy Valley, Save Me).
Also joining the cast are Peter Ballance, Asan N’Jie, Cara Kelly and Flora Montgomery.
Bloodlands is Chris Brandon’s first original drama series commission and the first drama from newly formed production company HTM Television. It was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC Content.
The executive producers are Jed Mercurio, Jimmy Mulville and Mark Redhead for HTM Television and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC.
Jed Mercurio, Executive Producer for HTM Television, said: “HTM Television is honored such a prestigious cast will bring to life Chris Brandon’s thrilling, thought-provoking series Bloodlands.”
Tommy Bulfin, BBC Commissioning Editor, Northern Ireland, commented: “We’re delighted that such an incredible cast, including some of Northern Ireland’s finest acting talent, have come together for Bloodlands.”
James Nesbitt previously said: “It’s great to be back making a drama in and about Northern Ireland, which now has a film and television industry as good as any in the world. We have compelling scripts from a brilliant young writer who was raised in County Down, which are very exciting and psychologically complex.”
Chris Brandon added: “I’m absolutely delighted that the first opportunity I get to tell a story on this scale, it is one that is so close to home and the people and places that raised me. On top of that, to be telling it with James Nesbitt, Jed Mercurio and the incredible team at HTM is a total privilege.”
Jimmy Mulville, Executive Producer for HTM Television, said: “We’re thrilled to be making our first HTM drama not just in Northern Ireland but about Northern Ireland. This is a compelling edge-of-the-seat thriller which couldn’t be more timely. The ‘Irish noir’ genre has arrived!”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: “In Bloodlands, Chris has crafted a cracking contemporary thriller which manages to be both completely gripping while shining a light on to the legacy of the troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland. We are thrilled to be working with Chris, Jimmy, Jed and the team at HTM to bring this visceral story to BBC One.”
Directed by Pete Travis (Omagh, The Go-Between) and produced by Christopher Hall (The Durrells, Critical), Bloodlands is produced with funding from Northern Ireland Screen. Filming is taking place in and around Belfast and Strangford Lough.
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