The pair are leading the cast of the Kudos-produced four-part series alongside Patrick Melrose and The Crown star Anna Madeley and The Terror’s Matthew McNulty.
The series is as much of an exploration of the anatomy of a terrible crime as it is a forensic dissection of two relationships. Tennant, who starred in Kudos’ Broadchurch, stars as admired local doctor Tom Kendrick, while Madeley plays his loving wife Kate, a primary school teacher. Kate works with her best friend Jess Milner, played by Jumbo, who used to be a bit of an outsider. But when she met Steve, played by McNulty, six years ago, she quickly moved to the small, Scottish community of Kirkdarroch and made a home with him. She helps him look after his two sons from his previous marriage with whom he shares custody with his ex. Steve is a Police Sergeant, but until now he’s not had to deal with much crime in the sleepy village and their happy life together is only marred by their struggle to have a child of their own.
But one night the community is shattered after a forest fire and the revelation that Kate and her three children are found dead, while Tom, who is found alive, is rushed to hospital. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Kate and her children weren’t killed in the fire and the village realise that something unspeakable has happened. As the fingers of suspicion point first to Tom, then to others as more details of that night emerge, Jess becomes desperate to understand what could have caused such a tragedy, and what secrets lie at the root of this terrible act. She puts everything she has on the line to get to the truth, no matter how difficult that truth may be to accept.
The series marks the debut commission of recently installed Head of Drama Caroline Hollick. It is written by Grantchester and Humans writer Daisy Coulam and exec produced by Tennant, Coulam, Emma Kingsman-Lloyd (Humans) and Karen Wilson (Utopia) with Caroline Levy (Beecham House) producing. It is directed by Lynsey Miller (The Boy with the Topknot) and distributed by Endemol Shine International.
Tennant said, “Daisy Coulam has written something very special, chilling and fascinating with these scripts. I am honoured and delighted to be part of telling this extraordinary story.”
Jumbo added, “I’m so excited to be part of bringing Daisy’s dark and mysterious story and the character of Jess to life.”