James Nesbitt & Frances O’Connor Set As Co-Leads In BBC One’s ‘The Missing’

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EXCLUSIVE: BBC One has quietly assembled the cast for their upcoming 8 episode drama series The Missing (formerly known as Breakdown), TVWise has learned.

James Nesbitt (Babylon) and Frances O’Connor (Mr Selfridge) are set as the co-leads in the drama, which hails from Jack Williams, Harry Williams, New Pictures, Company Pictures and Two Brothers Pictures. Rounding out the cast is Jason Flemying (Primeval), Tcheky Karyo (The Patriot), Ken Stott (The Hobbit), Arsher Ali (The Guilty), Titus de Voogdt (Any Way The Wind Blows), Said Taghmaoui (Touch), Émilie Dequenne (Mystery At The Moulin Rouge), Anamaria Marinca (The Politicians Husband), Eric Gordon (Hungry), Anastasia Hille (The Tunnel), Johan Leysen (The Spiral), television newcomer Tom Mothersdale and Diana Kent (Undeniable).

The Missing follows Tony, a man who will do whatever it takes to find his missing child. When Oliver disappears on a holiday in France, Tony’s exhaustive search fractures his marriage to Emily and threatens to destroy his life. The French police detective who launched the initial search for the child also cannot shake the small belief that he may still be alive. This gripping relationship thriller is told simultaneously over two time frames and is set in two countries. Exploring the emotional cost of obsession, hope and finding when to let go, this thrilling new drama shows the impact of a child’s abduction.

James Nesbitt stars as Tony, Oliver’s father; Frances O’Connor as Emily, Tony’s Wife; Tcheky Karyo as Julien, the Freanch police detective leading the investigation into Oliver’s abduction;  Jason Flemying as Mark; Ken Stott as Ian; Arsher Ali as Malik; Titus De Voogdt as Bourg; Said Taghmaoui as Ziane; Émilie Dequenne as Laurence; Anamaria Marinca as Rini; Eric Gordon as Georges; Anastasia Hille as Celia; and Johan Leysen as Sieg.

The eight part drama series was penned by Jack and Harry Williams and received a green-light from then BBC One Controller Danny Cohen and the BBC’s Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson more than a year ago, back in February 2013. New Pictures, Company Pictures and Two Brothers Pictures are producing, with Chris Clough serving as the series producer and Charlie Pattinson, Willow Grylls, Polly Hill, John Yorke & Harry and Jack Williams serving as executive producers. Ripper Street helmer Tom Shankland is attached to direct. Production on The Missing recently got underway in Belgium, with BBC One eyeing a late 2014 premiere.

“We are pleased to announce such an exciting cast that brings together the best of British and French actors, led by James Nesbitt, Frances O’Connor and Tcheky Karyo, in this powerful new drama for BBC One”, said Polly Hill, the BBC’s Head of Independent Drama.

While Executive Producer Charlie Pattinson added: “Harry and Jack Williams have created a wonderfully complex and mature emotional thriller and I am delighted that New Pictures’ first series highlights their work. It’s great that two writers who are new to long form drama have attracted such an exciting, high calibre cast.”

The Missing is the latest drama series commissioned by the BBC to assemble its cast and get into production. The Interceptor, which was commissioned at the same time as The Missing, also recently began production with a cast which is being led by David Gyasi. The start of production also follows the renewals of Call The Midwife and Death In Paradise and the announcement of a strong new drama slate for BBC One which included, amongst others, a pair of new Agatha Christie dramas and a Mapp & Lucia adaptation from Steve Pemberton.