Here’s the first look at Cheat, ITV and Sundance Now’s forthcoming dark drama starring The Night Manager’s Katherine Kelly and Three Girl’s Molly Windsor. The four-part series is being rolled out by All3Media International at next week’s Mipcom.

The psychological thriller, created by newcomer Gaby Hull, was commissioned by British broadcaster ITV and AMC Network’s SVOD platform boarded in June.

All3Media International

Kelly plays university professor Leah, who starts a dangerous relationship with her student Rose, played by Windsor, and is thrust into a case of academic deception, which has fatal consequences. Humans and Mr Selfridge star Tom Goodman-Hill plays Leah’s university professor husband Adam, while Unforgotten’s Lorraine Ashbourne and Spooks and Victoria star Peter Firth play her parents. The Young Ones’ Adrian Edmondson plays Rose’s father William.

Cheat is exec produced by Two Brothers Pictures founders Harry and Jack Williams and Christoper Aird. Fleabag producer Lydia Hampson produces, while Lucky Man director Louise Hooper will direct all four episodes.

The series is distributed globally by All3Media International, whose CEO Louise Pedersen called it a “fabulously taut thriller”. It is likely to air later this year.

Set in the world of academia, writer Gaby Hull explains how the show will “explore our closest relationships and how they construct and deconstruct our characters in the most fundamental, exciting, and in this case, extreme ways”.

In making the series, director Hooper wanted the audience to really feel the tension on-screen, making it a very visceral sensation for the viewer. In her eyes it is all about “our deep-seated emotions – trust, betrayal, deceit, lies, fear – all those primal feelings that get you at the back of your brain, in your heart and in your stomach.”

Producer Lydia Hampson felt strongly about having a female director telling the story, “this show has two female leads, Katherine Kelly and Molly Windsor, playing two incredibly intelligent minds. It was important to me that these two women who outsmart each other at every move were guided by a woman reflecting their story, on the other side of the camera”.