BBC’s ‘From Darkness’ Lands Its Lead; ITV’s Rounds Out ‘Unforgotten’ Cast: Global Briefs

Anne-Marie Duff has been cast in the lead of BBC psychological crime drama, From Darkness. Written by Katie Baxendale (Sugar Rush), the four-part series follows Clare Church, an ex-police officer who left the Greater Manchester force in the mid-90s after the impact of violence became too overwhelming. But when four bodies from a past investigations are unearthed, she finds herself pulled back in to a world she’d long since left behind and a case that only she can solve. Duff is best known for to UK audiences for Channel 4’s Shameless. She’s next up in Pathé’s Meryl Streep/Carey Mulligan drama Suffragette. From Darkness is produced by BBC Drama North for BBC One. Hilary Martin, Head of BBC Drama North and Oliver Kent exec producers. Shooting starts in Manchester and Scotland this month.

In a similar vein, ITV’s six-part cold case drama Unforgotten has cast up with Last Tango In Halifax‘s Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars) co-starring. Written and created by Chris Lang (Undeniable, The Tunnel), it hails from Mainstreet Pictures and focuses on a 39-year-old murder case that is re-opened when the bones of a young man are found beneath the footings of a demolished house. The people who have been waiting for this moment for nearly four decades will see their lives unravel. Walker and Bhaskar are playing the modern-day police team who gradually discover deep-rooted and long-forgotten secrets. Further cast includes Trevor Eve (Death Comes To Pemberley), Bernard Hill (Wolf Hall), Ruth Sheen (Mr Turner) and Tom Courtenay (45 Years, The Dresser). The drama is set in different corners of England, with each of the characters’ stories running parallel. Executive Producers are Sally Haynes, Chris Lang and Laura Mackie with BBC Worldwide handling international distribution. Shooting starts this month for 12 weeks.

Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures, Woodcut Media and Shine North have collaborated on the one-hour feature documentary Mandela, My Dad And Me, which follows the actor on a journey of self-exploration. In 2013, Elba produced and released Mi Mandela, an album inspired by his time researching and portraying the South African leader in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Arrangements were made to record the album in South Africa and Mali at the end of 2013, but when Elba’s father died, the project took on new meaning. While working simultaneously on the album and promoting the biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Elba enlisted director Daniel Vernon to document his movements and his personal journey through grief. Executive producers are Elba and Nicholas Yearwood from Green Door, Derren Lawford from Woodcut, and Alex Connock and Rick Murray from Shine North and Jeremy Lee. Content Media is distributing.

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