ITV Preps Crime Thriller ‘Viewpoint’, Co-Created By ‘Fleabag’ Director Harry Bradbeer & ‘Manhunt’ Writer Ed Whitmore From ‘Ripper Street’ Producer Tiger Aspect

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EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning Fleabag director Harry Bradbeer has co-created a Rear Window-esque crime drama with Manhunt writer Ed Whitmore for ITV.

The pair have devised five-part thriller Viewpoint from Ripper Street producer Tiger Aspect, ordered to series by the British commercial broadcaster.

The drama follows a police surveillance investigation into a tight knit community in Manchester and explores whether it is ever possible observe the lives of others with true objectivity and zero effect.

When beloved primary school teacher Gemma King vanishes into thin air, DC Martin Young decides to set up his observation post in the home of single mum Zoe Sturges.  His reasoning is simple – Zoe’s flat commands a panoramic view of all the comings and goings in Westbury Square. More specifically, he can see straight into the flat that Gemma shares with boyfriend Greg Sullivan, the prime suspect in her disappearance. But Martin is a man carrying his own burden of trauma and guilt and he starts to question if he can trust what he observes?  Could he be projecting his own loneliness and remorse onto the ostracized Greg?  And are his developing feelings for the combative Zoe – with her own penchant for voyeurism – compromising his ability to do his job?

Described as a contemporary, character-driven murder mystery mining the “paranoid hinterland” of Rear Window and The Lives Of Others, it is exec produced by Tiger Aspect’s Lucy Bedford and directed by Doctor Who and The Bastard Executioner director. Juliet Charlesworth will produce the drama, which begins filming in Manchester in spring 2020.

Bradbeer won the Emmy for comedy directing in September for Fleabag and was also the lead director of the first season of BBC America’s Killing Eve, while Whitmore wrote Martin Clunes-fronted drama Manhunt, which was the network’s highest rated drama for six years, and worked on Waking the Dead and episodes of CSI and Strike Back.

ITV Head of Drama Polly Hill, who commissioned the series, said, “It’s hard to find a crime series that feels new and fresh, which is why I am delighted to commission Viewpoint.  Martin, the police surveillance officer watching a community to discover why a local teacher has gone missing, is in Zoe’s flat who secretly watches her neighbors because she’s lonely. The lines between the two and who can and can’t spy on us, is beautifully blurred.  It creates a crime series that has a touch of Rear Window.”

Lucy Bedford said, “As soon as Harry told me about the true story that inspired Viewpoint, I was instantly hooked and it has been a real joy to see such a rich and fruitful collaboration spring up between him and the very talented Ed Whitmore. Part character-driven drama and part Hitchcockian thriller, Ed’s scripts brilliantly interweave the personal and investigative into a gripping, taut, emotional story which surprises at every turn.”

Ed Whitmore added, “I’ve always been eager to find a story that explored voyeurism in a fresh and innovative way, not least because it makes such compulsive and cinematic subject matter.  As soon as I read Harry Bradbeer’s pitch which put a young surveillance officer in the flat of a single mother, I could see all the tensions and conflicts arising from this clash of the personal and the professional, the juxtaposition of a crime story and the intimate environment of a domestic residence.  And I saw a chance for a vividly different hybrid of police procedural and up-close-and-personal portrait of a community, with the crime story unfolding in both arenas simultaneously.  I’m thrilled to be working with director Ashley Way and Executive Producer Lucy Bedford and her team at Tiger Aspect, and I’m greatly looking forward to filming in Manchester and seeing the scripts come to life.”

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