Kelly Macdonald spent five years working on HBO period drama Boardwalk Empire but her latest role is a short, sharp four hours and out.
She stars in The Victim, a mini-series for the BBC and BritBox in the U.S. as Anna Dean, a Scottish mother whose nine-year old boy was murdered fifteen years ago by a 13-year old. Years later, having campaigned to be told of the killer’s new identity she is accused of revealing his new name online.
Speaking at the TCA press tour, she told Deadline, “I did Boardwalk Empire for a number of years and that was a great job and it was my first experience of revisiting a role year after year and then when that finished I was really excited because I could play different parts again. I don’t have a preference either way but if I was playing [The Victim’s] Anna Dean regularly, it might, in the end, affect me.”
Macdonald has also recently filmed eight-part BBC/Netflix co-pro Giri/Haji, from Chernobyl producer Sister Pictures, and she hinted that there’s an “option” that this show could go into a second season.
Alongside Macdonald’s Anna Dean in The Victim is rising actor James Harkness, who had small roles in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread, plays Craig Myers, who is attacked after Macdonald’s Dean accuses him of being the child killer. Misfits and The Level star Karla Crome plays his wife Rebecca, while Four Weddings and a Funeral star John Hannah, who previously starred in BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, plays D.I. Steven Grover, the detective in charge of the case. It was created by The Man In The High Castle writer Rob Williams and is co-funded and internationally distributed by Sky Vision.
The Victim is a closed ended mini-series but like a number of other short run BBC dramas, such as Trust Me, there is an outside chance that it could come back in another form, with another cast. Paul Sheehan, COO of producer STV Productions, told Deadline, “As British drama producers, we’re used to short runs. We initially developed this with five or six episodes but in conversation with the channel, they fixed on four and in the UK it was stripped through Monday to Thursday. We would have loved to have made more episodes but it’s the British way of things. It was designed as a closed ended story but never say never, we were so lucky with our cast so how could we do it again, but the premise of who is the victim and then there’s an accused, we’d love to investigate that.”
BritBox co-funded the series at an early stage and it will anchor its forthcoming fall slate.
Elsewhere, the SVOD service, which is run by BBC and ITV, has picked up a number of other British titles. It has bought ITV crime drama The Bay, starring Morven Christie, as well as the forthcoming Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special from James Corden and Ruth Jones.
BritBox President, Soumya Sriraman said, “Today’s programming announcements reflect BritBox’s commitment to bring our audience the very best of UK programming, whether it’s brand new originals or proven favorites. Our more than 650,000 subscribers come to BritBox seeking a premium UK entertainment experience and we are pleased to fulfill that promise each and every day.”