ITV Encore Orders Four-Part Police Thriller ‘Bancroft’ From ‘Ice Cream Girls’ Scribe Kate Brooke

ITV EncoreITV Encore is adding to their slate of originals. The ITV owned and operated pay channel has given the green-light to Bancroft, a four-part police thriller with two women at its heart, from Ice Cream Girls Scribe Kate Brooke, TVWise has learned.

Bancroft explores what happens when heinous crimes, long buried in the past, come back to haunt us.  Elizabeth Bancroft is a respected DCI who has given her life to the police force. Trusted and adored by her colleagues, promotion to Detective Chief Superintendent looks assured.

DS Katherine Stevens, meanwhile, is an ambitious, fast-tracked recruit. Her only indiscretion is an affair with a married police officer she finds hard to resist. However, when Katherine is assigned to cold cases she unwittingly disturbs the ghosts of the past. What she unearths couldn’t be more catastrophic in terms of the lives of her colleagues. Despite law enforcement being the back-drop of the show, ITV was keen to stress that Bancroft, which is set in a busy northern city, is not a police procedural.

The four-part drama is being produced for ITV Encore by ITV Studios label Tall Story Pictures, which was founded by Francis Hopkinson and Catherine Oldfield. Series creator Kate Brooke, whose numerous credits also include Mr Selfridge and The Making Of A Lady, is penning all four scripts and will also serve as an executive producer alongside Francis Hopkinson. Production is set to commence on location in Manchester and Leeds next Spring.

“I wanted to explore a powerful, charming, morally ambiguous woman who has a shocking secret in her past”, said Kate Brooke, who is penning all four scripts”, said Kate Brooke. “I was also fascinated to explore the relationship between an older and younger woman – Katherine begins by hero worshipping Elizabeth and ends by obsessively wanting to bring her down.”

dark-heart“In spite of her exemplary record as a police officer, Elizabeth Bancroft is a manipulative and destructive character. She’s not all she seems and it’ll be interesting for the audience to get to know her”, added drama commissioner Jane Hudson, who is overseeing production for ITV. “We’re delighted to commission Bancroft from Tall Story Pictures and to be working with Kate Brooke on such excellent scripts.”

Bancroft is the latest project to emerge out of the originals strategy for ITV Encore. The pay channel, which launched in 2014, started down this path with the Sean Bean fronted The Frankenstein Chronicles (which was recently renewed for a second season) and has since gone on to commission such projects as 18th century brothel drama Harlots, which is being co-produced by US streaming service Hulu; and Dark Heart, a two hour Wagstaffe movie starring Tom Riley which is envisioned as the first in a series of such adaptations.