BBC One has given the greenlight to In The Dark, a four-part TV series based on Mark Billingham’s series of novels featuring police officer Helen Weeks, TVWise has learned.
In The Dark will tell the story of the engaging and complex female detective Helen Weeks and will consist of two separate two-part stories. The first two-parter opens as Helen discovers she is pregnant, but before long she is pulled into a case involving her best friend from school, when her husband is accused of abducting two young girls. The second two-parter, meanwhile, follows a heavily pregnant Helen as she grapples with and unexpected tragedy that pulls her into the grimy under-belly of urban Manchester.
The Driver scribe Danny Brocklehurst is penning the scripts for In The Dark. The first two part story is based on Billingham’s recently published novel Time Of Death, while the second is based on In The Dark, the 2008 stand-alone novel featuring the Helen Weeks characters. BBC Drama North will produce, with Head of BBC Drama North Hilary Martin serving as the executive producer. Casting is now underway, with production set to commence in Manchester in 2016.
“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”. said the BBC’s Controller of Drama Commissioning Poly Hill, who ordered the four part adaptation alongside BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore.
In The Dark is the second Mark Billingham adaptation to get an official green-light at the BBC in as many months, after BBC One previously ordered an adaptation of his 2012 novel Rush Of Blood. Like Rush Of Blood before it, this project has been in the works for more than two years and Billingham has been involved with the process of adapting In The Dark for screen, ever since the book was optioned by the BBC in 2013.
“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”, Billingham said. “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.”
“I’m delighted to be continuing my relationship with BBC One, bringing to life these wonderful Mark Billingham thrillers”, added Danny Brocklehurst. “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.”