BBC One announces In The Dark, new drama by Danny Brocklehurst
I'm delighted to be continuing my relationship with BBC One, bringing to life these wonderful Mark Billingham thrillers.Danny Brocklehurst
Adapted from the books by best-selling novelist Mark Billingham, In The Dark centres around the engaging and complex female detective Helen Weeks, in two separate stories.
Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, says: "The combination of Danny Brocklehurst's incredible writing, Mark Billingham's fantastic stories and BBC Drama North producing will ensure In The Dark is a contemporary and surprising drama for our BBC One audience."
Characterful, darkly funny and with themes relevant to our times, In The Dark is an incredibly personal drama series. With visceral emotional dilemmas at the epicentre of the crime stories, it is anchored on Helen Weeks and her journey towards motherhood.
In the first two-parter, Helen discovers she is pregnant, but before she can confront her tricky issue of whether the child is her partner Paul's or the result of an affair, she is compelled to go back to her hometown when her best friend from school is drawn into the centre of a media storm - her husband has been arrested for the abduction of two young girls and in a world of 24-hour news and trial by media, the local cops are under enormous pressure to get their man. But is he the right man? Helen must solve the case by confronting both her present and her past - digging deep into the secrets of her childhood, just as she's contemplating bringing a new life into the world.
Danny Brocklehurst says: “I'm delighted to be continuing my relationship with BBC One, bringing to life these wonderful Mark Billingham thrillers. For me, crime drama is only interesting when it is told through character and in Helen Weeks, Mark has created a brilliant central character: a ballsy, funny, outspoken police woman who finds herself on the cusp of motherhood and has to grudgingly accept the vulnerability that brings to her.
"The key theme of the drama - how well do we really know those closest to us? - is a theme I find endlessly fascinating, and the fact that Helen's own life has secrets and duplicity makes the drama all the more interesting.”
Author Mark Billingham adds: “I am hugely thrilled that my stories are to be adapted for the screen and could not be more excited that it will be made by the BBC. The journey from page to screen can often be tricky for authors, but with the amazing BBC Drama North team at the helm, it’s one I cannot wait to embark on.
"I'm delighted to be making a show with BBC Drama North and thrilled we are setting the show in my home town of Manchester and making the city an integral part of the drama.”
In the second two-parter based on Billingham's novel In The Dark, a heavily pregnant Helen grapples with unexpected tragedy pulling her into a dangerous world of the grimy under-belly of urban Manchester and forcing herself to ask the question: even if you love someone, do you ever really know them completely? With new priorities and fragile hope for the future, can Helen make the world a better place for her unborn child?
Hilary Martin, Head of BBC Drama North, adds: "I feel so lucky to be working with Danny Brocklehurst and Mark Billingham - two of the UK's most talented writers. In The Dark promises to be an incredibly compelling and personal crime show and Drama North is very proud to be bringing it to screen."
The Executive Producer is Head of BBC Drama North Hilary Martin (From Darkness, In The Flesh) and the series will film in Manchester and the North West during 2016. Casting will be announced in due course.