Written by Shona Smith on Jan 20, 2020. Posted in Production News

New dramas from World Productions receive regional support

World Productions, the production company behind Line of Duty and The Bodyguard have been commissioned for two new television dramas set in Scotland and Wales respectively. Vigil, set and filmed in Scotland is supported by Screen Scotland, while the Welsh Government will support the production of true crime mini-series The Pembrokeshire Murders. World Productions' Creative Director and CEO Simon Heath will Executive Produce both dramas.

Commissioned by ITV, true crime miniseries The Pembrokeshire Murders will see Luke Evans take the lead role of Senior Investigating Officer Steve Wilkins in the three-part mini-series adapted from “Catching the Bullseye Killer”, written by Officer Wilkins and ITV news journalist Jonathan Hill.

The three-part mini-series depicts the pursuit of a cold-blooded killer as “two unsolved double murders from the 1980s cast a shadow over the work of the Dyfed Powys police force. In 2006, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins decided to reopen both cases. Employing pioneering forensic methods, Wilkins and his handpicked team found microscopic DNA and fibres that potentially linked the murders to a string of burglaries committed in the 80s and 90s”.

The series is expected to begin filming this month and production is supported by the Welsh Government. Written by Nick Stevens (In Plain Sight) and directed by Marc Evans (Manhunt, Safe House), Ed Talfan (Hinterland, Hidden) is producing for Wales-based Severn Screen (Hidden).

In Scotland, six-part thriller Vigil, commissioned by BBC One, is the first drama from World Productions’ Scotland office and is supported by Screen Scotland. Executive Producer Simon Heath says, “We’re thrilled that the first drama out of our Scottish office is such a timely and gripping idea, brilliantly executed by Tom Edge. We couldn’t ask for a stronger cast, led by the brilliant Suranne Jones (Gentleman Jack) and Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones, The Good Fight) ”.

Both set and shot in Scotland, Vigil follows the disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death aboard a Trident submarine which brings the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services. DCI Amy Silva, played by Suranne Jones leads an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that threatens the very heart of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

Written by Tom Edge (Judy, The Crown) and directed by BAFTA-winner James Strong (Broadchurch, Vanity Fair). Edge notes “the ‘Continuous At Sea Deterrent’, better known as ‘Trident’, has been a contentious part of national life for half a century now, a stock of nuclear missiles kept hundreds of feet below the sea surface. But this world has rarely been explored on screen. I can’t wait to take a BBC One audience down with us, into the pitch-black icy waters of the unseen Atlantic, where tomorrow’s geopolitical struggles are already being played out”.

The series will also star Shaun Evans (Endeavour, Whitechapel), Anjil Mondra (Bodyguard, Bancroft), Martin Compston (Line of Duty, Mary Queen of Scots), Paterson Joseph (The Leftovers, Peep Show), Connor Swindells (Sex Education, Jamestown), Adam James (Dr Foster, Deep State), and Gary Lewis (His Dark Materials, Billy Elliot).

In March 2019, the BBC committed to spending at least 8% of its total network television budget in Scotland. The deal would commit the broadcaster to making a minimum of three drama series, three comedy dramas and three "high impact factual series" in Scotland each year.

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