After toplining the channel’s critically acclaimed Prey, John Simm is reuniting with ITV for another one-off drama.
The accomplished actor, whose recent credits also include Mad Dogs and the BBC America original series Intruders, has joined the cast of ITV’s two-part drama Code Of A Killer, which is being toplined by David Threlfall (Shameless), TVWise has learned.
Code Of A Killer follows Detective David Baker (David Threlfall) who in 1984 headed up an investigation into the brutal murders of two Leicestershire schoolgirls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth. Only three miles away, Alec Jeffreys was a young scientist who had unlocked a remarkable technique to read each individual’s unique DNA fingerprint. Certain the murderer was local, Baker approached Jeffreys to use his new science as a way to solve the murders. What followed was the first ever DNA manhunt, and the blood testing of over five thousand men before the killer was caught.
John Simm will play Alec Jeffreys, the scientist who has since been hailed as the “Father of Genetic Fingerprinting” and was vital to closing the murder investigation. Rounding out the cast is relative newcomer Matthew Fraser Holland, Lorcan Cranitch (Penny Dreadful), Robert Glenister (Spooks), Siobhan Redmond (Between The Lines), Anna Madeley (Sense & Sensibility), Dorothy Atkinson (Call The Midwife), Andrew Tiernan (The Great Fire, The Driver), Jaz Deol (Restless Dust), Hannah Walters (Whitechapel), Lydia Rose Bewley (The Inbetweeners) and Ged Simons (Downton Abbey).
The two-parter was written by Kidnap & Ransom scribe Michael Crompton and was developed with input from retired professor Sir Alec Jeffreys and former Detective Chief Superintendent David Baker, while the families of both Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth have also been consulted about the drama. World Productions is producing, with the indie’s Creative Director Simon Heath serving as the executive producer. Priscilla Parish is set to produce, while Broadchurch and Gracepoint helmer James Strong is attached to direct. Production is now underway in Leicester and London and Code of A Killer will air on ITV in 2015.
“Code of a Killer is a testament to the pioneering science of Alec Jeffreys and the foresight and determination of David Baker”, said Executive Producer Simon Heath. “Together they brought justice for two grieving families and changed the course of criminal investigation forever.”
Code Of A Killer is the second new drama commission for ITV’s 2015 schedule to lock down its main cast and set a production start date. Just last week the broadcaster unveiled the cast – led by Martin Clunes and Arsher Ali – for their three-part drama Arthur & George, which tells the story of Arthur Conan Doyle attempting to clear the name of a wrongly convicted man. Other new dramas on ITV’s 2015 slate include The Trials of Jimmy Rose, Home Fires, Black Work and Safe House.