ITV has commissioned five-part thriller Viewpoint, from Emmy and Edgar award-winning screenwriter Ed Whitmore (Manhunt, Waking the Dead) and independent producers Tiger Aspect Productions, part of EndemolShine UK.
Based on an idea by Fleabag director Harry Bradbeer, who has co-created the series with Ed Whitmore, Viewpoint follows a police surveillance investigation into a tight knit Manchester community and explores whether it is ever possible observe the lives of others with true objectivity and zero effect.
When beloved primary school teacher Gemma King vanishes into thin air, DC Martin Young decides to set up his observation post in the home of single mum Zoe Sturges. His reasoning is simple – Zoe’s flat commands a panoramic view of all the comings and goings in Westbury Square.
More specifically, he can see straight into the flat that Gemma shares with boyfriend Greg Sullivan… the prime suspect in her disappearance.
But Martin is a man carrying his own burden of trauma and guilt and he starts to question if he can trust what he observes? Could he be projecting his own loneliness and remorse onto the ostracised Greg?
And are his developing feelings for the combative Zoe — with her own penchant for voyeurism — compromising his ability to do his job?
Viewpoint delivers a contemporary, character-driven murder mystery with a seductively intimate feel. But ultimately, it’s as much about friendship, trust and community as it is about solving a crime – it’s about the tension between our public and private lives and the secrets and horrors that thrive behind closed doors… especially when we think no-one’s watching.
Viewpoint has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who said: “It’s hard to find a crime series that feels new and fresh, which is why I am delighted to commission Viewpoint. Martin, the police surveillance officer watching a community to discover why a local teacher has gone missing, is in Zoe’s flat who secretly watches her neighbours because she’s lonely. The lines between the two and who can and can’t spy on us, is beautifully blurred. It creates a crime series that has a touch of Rear Window.”
Tiger Aspect’s Lucy Bedford will executive produce the drama with Ashley Way directing each of the five episodes. Juliet Charlesworth will produce the drama, which begins filming in Manchester in spring 2020.
Commented Lucy Bedford: “As soon as Harry told me about the true story that inspired Viewpoint, I was instantly hooked and it has been a real joy to see such a rich and fruitful collaboration spring up between him and the very talented Ed Whitmore. Part character-driven drama and part Hitchcockian thriller, Ed’s scripts brilliantly interweave the personal and investigative into a gripping, taut, emotional story which surprises at every turn.”
Ed Whitmore added: “I’ve always been eager to find a story that explored voyeurism in a fresh and innovative way, not least because it makes such compulsive and cinematic subject matter. As soon as I read Harry Bradbeer’s pitch which put a young surveillance officer in the flat of a single mother, I could see all the tensions and conflicts arising from this clash of the personal and the professional, the juxtaposition of a crime story and the intimate environment of a domestic residence. And I saw a chance for a vividly different hybrid of police procedural and up-close-and-personal portrait of a community, with the crime story unfolding in both arenas simultaneously. I’m thrilled to be working with director Ashley Way and Executive Producer Lucy Bedford and her team at Tiger Aspect, and I’m greatly looking forward to filming in Manchester and seeing the scripts come to life.”