Meet the Crew
Katie Baxendale, Writer
Katie had the idea for From Darkness when she was on a BBC Writersroom Seminar aimed at getting more women to write crime drama.
"I'd previously shied away from the genre being too much of a coward to deal with the grizzly and grim, but after a couple of mind-opening days, I had an idea that wouldn't go away and a two page pitch. The pitch was picked up by the team at Drama North and together we began to develop to script. Turning two pages of idea into four hours of primetime TV is an incredible process."
Katie has been writing popular drama for television since 1997. She has worked on a number of high profile shows, such as Eastenders, Playing the Field and At Home with the Braithwaites. She was the Co-Creator and Lead Writer on series one and two of Sugar Rush, an adaptation of Julie Burchill's coming of age novel. Series one won an International Emmy Award and series two was nominated for BAFTA.
"I was so excited to work with the enormously talented cast and crew who've brought From Darkness from script to screen. TV is a fundamentally collaborative process, when you're collaborating with the likes of Anne Marie Duff, Johnny Harris, Richard Rankin, Luke Newberry, Dominic Leclerc, Helen Ziegler and Drama North, it's a dream."
Dominic Leclerc, Director
Dominic loved his experience directing From Darkness. Having directed the popular BBC 1 dramas Call the Midwife and The Syndicate, the bleak and beautiful war-time drama The Village, and iconic Channel 4 and E4 series' Shameless and Skins, he was keen take on a darker, psychologically layered, contemporary drama and fell in love with From Darkness the first time he read the scripts. He was excited for the opportunity to direct an emotional thriller with a strong focus on character, and found that a world where past meets present, conscious meets subconscious, and urban meets remote lent itself to a strong, visual, filmic language.
Before transferring his talents over to the screen Dominic built a successful career in theatre, as a Director and Choreographer, known for creating visual and performance led pieces and working at the most well-renowned theatres in the country, including The National Theatre, the Old Vic and the Royal Court. He has also written and directed two short films that garnered a great deal of international attention, Nightswimming and Protect Me from what I Want.
In the future, Dom would love to continue directing high-end drama, at home and in the States. He is working on two feature films, and would love at some point to revisit the theatre, where he first fell in love with the technical and emotional process involved in bringing characters to life.
Helen Ziegler, Producer
"Producing From Darkness was a dream come true.
I have always wanted to Produce. I can't think of anything more wonderful than being able to be part of the process in which you explore the drama through every element of the piece: the casting; the design; the tone and pace. For me it is about living and breathing a show, its story and characters."
Helen has worked for several years in BBC Drama, as a Script Editor on shows such as Luther, The Interceptor, and EastEnders, and has sensitively brought 'From Darkness' from script to screen in her first forays into Producing. Helen's emphasis on script and storytelling has allowed writer Katie Baxendale's complex ambitions to be fully realised, as we explore Claire's emotional journey back into the overwhelming world that she escaped all those years ago.
"In 'From Darkness' Katie Baxendale created a unique emotionally charged, compelling take on the crime genre, which I was thrilled to have the chance to bring to life with such an exceptionally talented cast and brilliant crew. The show has taught me so much, in particular it has taught me that you never stop learning, you never know what the next day will bring, bum bags are the on-set essential and that Producing is a mix of joy and terror!"
Hilary Martin, Executive Producer
"I'm so excited to work with writer Katie Baxendale on her first original commission and am thrilled to have been joined on this journey with such a talented, dedicated crew and awe-inspiring cast"
Hilary is Head of Drama North, and Executive Produced From Darkness. Recently Hilary also Executive Produced BBC3's BAFTA award-winning kitchen-sink zombie drama In the Flesh (which also starred From Darkness's Luke Newberry).
Since being established in 2008 the Drama North team have also developed and produced James Herbert's The Secret of Crickley Hall, Winifred Holtby's South Riding and daytime serial 32 Brinkburn Street, all for BBC1.
"I'm completely focussed on making bold, authored series for a mainstream audience and think From Darkness combines Claire's emotional inner life with the crime genre in a compelling, impactful way."
Previously, Hilary was a Producer at ITV where she developed drama series Identity and produced comedy-drama series City Lights. She has also worked in the commissioning department at Sky 1 and Script Edited series such as No Angels, Linda Green and A&E.
Oliver Kent, Executive Producer
"I was incredibly excited when Hilary Martin asked me to join the From Darkness team. It’s a brilliant and truly original project by a fantastic writer and I’m so proud to have been a part of it."
After graduating, Oliver first worked as a Runner and 3rd AD for two years on various productions before joining the BBC Drama Department as a Researcher on Casualty.
Then as Script Editor he worked on Casualty and Eastenders, which he went on to Produce, as well as Westway, a radio soap for the BBC World Service. In 2004 he returned to television and joined the Holby City team as Producer.
In 2006 he was appointed Series Producer on Casualty and remained in that position until 2011 after which he re-joined Holby City as Senior Producer. Oliver has been Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty since 2013.
Simon Judd, Development Executive
"Working on From Darkness has been a joy from start to finish. Katie is such a talented, insightful and lyrical writer - it's been a privilege to work on the scripts with her."
Simon Judd has been working at BBC Drama Production North since 2008 when he joined as a Script Editor, before becoming a Development Producer and now a Development Executive, working closely with Head of Drama North, Hilary Martin.
He has worked on all BBC Drama North productions, including 32 Brinkburn Street, The Preston Passion, The Secret of Crickley Hall, and both series of multi-BAFTA winning In the Flesh. In a former career he also co-wrote one of the lowest rating episodes of Hollyoaks ever.
Polly Morgan, Director of Photography
"Working on From Darkness has been one of my best experiences to date. I felt really encouraged to push creativity. Some of best crew I have ever had pleasure of working with. It was a challenging but amazing experience. In the future I want to continue to shoot evocative and emotional stories based on the human experience."
Polly is passionate about shooting absorbing and affecting stories. On From Darkness she has created a captivating and stylish visual landscape, which beautifully paints Claire's emotional unravelling, through her palette of movement, lighting and colour.
Polly is known for her work on The Truth about Emanuel, for which she won the ASC Gerald Hirshfield Award and 'Best Cinematography' at the Brooklyn Film festival.
She is also known for her poetic images on Record, a short film by David Lyons, and television dramas such as American Horror Story and Call the Midwife.
Having worked as a Camera Assistant on big budget Hollywood movies such as Inception and V for Vendetta, Polly has worked her way up to become a highly sought after Cinematographer.
Sami Khan, Production Designer
"I loved working with such an amazing cast and crew. It was great to be given a huge amount of trust, and to be able to create my own distinctive aesthetic."
Sami is best known for his work on BBC3's BAFTA award winning kitchen sink zombie drama In the Flesh, the adaptation of J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, and the lurid and deeply affecting Catch Me Daddy.
In every project, Sami creates distinctive and detailed worlds that are an essential part of memorable and authentic story-telling. On From Darkness, Sami's designs beautifully distinguished the oppressive nature of Claire's old life in Manchester and the openness, freedom and escapist idealism of Scotland, and set the tone for Claire's complex emotional journey into her own past.
Susan Dunn, Line Producer
"In the future, I'd like to continue to work on British drama with some of the best writers, producers and technicians around."
Susan Dunn is hugely experienced and well respected Line Producer, with a career that spans impactful issue-led drama such as Accused, From There to Here, and Appropriate Adult, and British classics which have stood the test of time such as Shameless, as well as some of the most popular dramas on TV recently, such as Banished and Safe House.
She is highly adept at understanding and delivering the editorial ambitions of the script, and is always the most fun person on the production!
Ian Holmes, Costume Designer
"I instinctively knew From Darkness was something special from the moment I first read the scripts, and this was confirmed when I had my initial meeting with Dominic Leclerc and Helen Ziegler. The passion and vision that they both had for the project was inspiring. Needless to say I was absolutely delighted to get the call offering me the job, and that was the start of something really special, working together with such a creative force, all of us sharing the same vision and goal."
Ian Holmes has worked extensively across British television, creating authentic and memorable costumes, and helping to define the visual identity of many well-loved programmes.
He is known for his work on the BAFTA award winning and hugely popular Happy Valley, as well as Last Tango in Halifax, The Village, Utopia and Shameless. On From Darkness he created a nuanced and understated style for Claire, developing the sense of her identity and her emotional journey.
"Creating the many hidden layers within all the characters, working with such great texture and colour, and then seeing it come together in the finished product was a very special moment for me."
Samantha Marshall, Make-up Designer
"Working with Anne-Marie was lovely. Before we started filming, we chatted about the looks that we wanted to go for, and agreed on an approach together. She was a joy to work with. My make-up team were fantastic, and it was also great to work with Ian Holmes, the Costume Designer, and collaborate closely with him."
Samantha loved working on From Darkness, in what she felt was a professional, collaborative atmosphere. Sam and her team played an essential role in defining the visual identity of From Darkness, using Sam's make up designs to express Claire's emotional journey, as she delves back into the darkness of her past.
Sam has worked extensively in television, including the popular BBC 1 drama The Syndicate, Jimmy McGovern's BBC 2 hit Banished, and the powerful Channel 4 industrial drama The Mill.
She started her career in theatre, before becoming a make-up trainee at Granada Studios, and then working her way up to Make-Up Designer. In the future, she would love to keep tackling various challenges, from period dramas to prosthetics, and push the boundaries of what she can achieve.