EXCLUSIVE: ITV has given the green-light to Fearless, a six episode political thriller from Homeland‘s Patrick Harbinson which is being toplined by Peaky Blinders and Skyfall star Helen McCrory, TVWise can reveal.
“Fearless is a legal thriller,” said Patrick Harbinson, who serves as both a writer and executive producer on Showtime’s critically acclaimed counter-terrorism drama. “But one that’s written in the crash zone where law and politics collide.”
Fearless follows Emma Blunt (McCrory) a solicitor known for defending lost causes. She’s investigating the killing of a schoolgirl in East Anglia and trying to free the man she thinks was wrongly convicted of the girl’s murder. As she digs ever deeper into the case, she begins to sense powerful forces, in the police and the intelligence services at home and abroad, who want to stop her uncovering the truth.
“Emma Blunt is the kind of character who hates to back down,” said ITV’s Controller of Drama Victoria Fea, who commissioned the series. “Against all the odds she’s driven by the unfolding mystery of that 2003 murder and whether the killer was unjustly convicted. Fearless is a complex, taut thriller and we’re delighted to be commissioning the series from Mammoth Screen.”
The six part drama is being penned by Patrick Harbinson, who will also executive produce. ITV owned indie Mammoth Screen is producing, with Adrian Sturges serving as the series producer. Dredd helmer Pete Travis is attached to direct. Mammoth Screen’s Creative Director Rebecca Keane developed the project. Damien Timmer and Tom Mullens also serve as executive producers. Production begins next month in London and East Anglia.
“When l was at drama school l was inspired by Prime Suspect, watching as Britain led the way in creating strong female characters to lead their dramas. l’m thrilled to be leading ITV’s new drama – it’s a thriller that starts deceptively small, then begins crossing borders to different cultures and continents”, Helen McCrory said in a statement. “l knew and admired Patrick Harbinson’s writing for Homeland, and Pete Travis and l have worked together before – that shorthand is so important on such a big project with ambitions running high. I can’t wait to start filming.”
“When, three years ago, Damien Timmer asked me if I was interested in writing a legal series inspired by the work of lawyers like Gareth Peirce and Helena Kennedy, I immediately said yes. Much of the work I’ve done in America in the last ten years (24, Person of Interest, Homeland) has been about life in the post 9/11 (and post 7/7) world. The so-called War on Terror has put serious stress on the ordinary workings of the law”, Harbinson added.
“National security justifies all sorts of police and state over-reach – and the great majority of us are prepared to accept this. So I wanted to create a character who challenges these assumptions, who fights for those outside the normal run of society, and who is uncompromising, difficult, and completely indifferent to unpopularity and danger”, he continued. “The result was Emma Blunt and Fearless. I’m delighted that Helen McCrory has agreed to play Emma. She is a complex and contradictory character, and I am incredibly lucky to have someone of Helen’s wit, warmth and intelligence bringing her to life.”