ITV is returning to the well trodden ground of the period drama for their next scripted series. The commercial broadcaster has handed a six episode straight-to-series order to Grantchester, a drama from Shine’s Lovely Day set in the 1950s which is based on the James Runcie novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death.
Adapted by Daisy Coulam, Grantchester is set against the backdrop of the real hamlet of Grantchester and follows Sidney Chambers, a charismatic, charming clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances.His partner in crime is over-worked Police Inspector, Geordie Keating. Geordie speaks plainly and his down to earth approach to policing complements Sidney’s more gentle technique of coaxing information from witnesses and suspects. Their unlikely partnership becomes a true friendship as each offers a different insight into the crimes they begin to unravel. Lovely Day is producing the six episode series with Diederick Santer, Managing Director and founder of Lovely Day, serving as the executive producer. Casting for the drama is currently underway, with production slated to commence March 2014 in London, Cambridge and Grantchester.
“Grantchester is an exciting commission for ITV Drama and we’re delighted to be working with Diederick Santer,” said ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November, who, alongside ITV’s Drama Controller Victoria Fea, commissioned the series. “Daisy Coulam’s scripts are vivid and beautifully written with some wonderful characters at the heart of the stories. There’s an emotional truth and gravity to this series which makes it a very compelling drama.”
While Executive Producer Diederick Santer added: “Grantchester is a real labour of love for me and Lovely Day. Sidney is a charming, but complex character, a man of faith burdened by his past despite a distinguished wartime record, he’s funny, dashing and inquisitive. He loves being a parish priest in the exquisite village of Grantchester, but somehow it’s not enough and he still finds time to fall in and out of love and solve crimes. James Runcie has created this brilliant character and this glorious world, which Daisy Coulam is now bringing to the screen in her wonderful and lavish scripts, and I can’t wait for ITV’s audience to get to know him too.”