BBC One Orders Northern Ireland Crime Drama ‘Bloodlands’, James Nesbitt To Star

BBC One has ordered Bloodlands, a Northern Ireland-set drama from newcomer Chris Brandon and Line Of Duty and Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio’s new production company HTM Television. James Nesbitt (The Missing, Cold Feet) is attached to star in the lead role.

Bloodlands follows Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) and his dogged hunt for a legendary assassin, an explosive cat-and-mouse game where the stakes have never been higher. When a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough, Brannick quickly connects it to an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance.

This marks the first original drama series commission for both Chris Brandon and HTM Televison. The newly formed production company is co-owned by Jed Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions and is supported by Hat Trick’s business infrastructure. Christopher Hall is the series producer for Bloodlands, while Pete Travis is attached to direct. The executive producers are Jed Mercurio and Jimmy Mulville. The BBC said further casting would be announced at a later date.

“It’s great to be back making a drama in and about Northern Ireland, which now has a film and television industry as good as any in the world”, series star Jimmy Nesbitt said in a statement. “We have compelling scripts from a brilliant young writer who was raised in County Down, which are very exciting and psychologically complex. I can’t wait to start.”

“In Bloodlands Chris has crafted a cracking contemporary thriller which manages to be both completely gripping while shining a light on to the legacy of the troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland”, commented the BBC’s Controller of Drama Piers Wenger, who commissioned the series alongside the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore. “We are thrilled to be working with Chris, Jimmy, Jed and the team at HTM to bring this visceral story to BBC One.”

While Jed Mercurio added: “It’s been incredibly rewarding to discover Chris Brandon’s work and to witness the development of an outstanding new voice in contemporary television thriller writing, added to which everyone at HTM Television is honoured an actor of James Nesbitt’s brilliance will star in our debut production.”