Neil Cross is getting back into the detective business with BBC One. The network has ordered six-part pre-apocalyptic drama Hard Sun to be produced by Kate Harwood’s Euston Films. Set in contemporary London, it will feature detective partners and enemies, Elaine Renko and Robert Hicks, who seek to enforce the law and protect their loved ones in a world that every day slips closer to certain destruction. But what’s the point of justice in the face of Armageddon?, it asks.

Filming will take place in London next year with casting still to be confirmed. Cross, whose Luther returns to BBC One and BBC America for a special two-parter later this month, cautions that Hard Sun isn’t science fiction. “Imagine the world you see when you look out your window… except it’s been given a death sentence. There’s no hero to come save us; no contingency plan.”

Describing the concept, he adds, “What’s it like, trying to keep order, trying to enforce the law in a city that, day by day, slips closer to certain destruction? How do you get up in the morning? How do you get out of bed and leave your family and go out there, putting your own life at risk? And what about the predators? What about the murderers, the rapists, the thieves? What about the psychopaths, the religious nuts, the cult leaders, the serial killers? Who among them would fear a prison sentence, in a world like this? Who among them would fear legal consequences? What does a life sentence even mean, anymore?”

FremantleMedia International is handling world sales on Hard Sun with broadcast expected in 2017. Exec producers are Harwood and Elizabeth Kigarriff for BBC One.