James Nesbitt Takes Lead Role In Northern Irish Crime Drama ‘Bloodlands’ For BBC One

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06 Nov 19

James Nesbitt Takes Lead Role In Northern Irish Crime Drama ‘Bloodlands’ For BBC One

James Nesbitt (‘The Missing’, ‘Cold Feet’) is heading back to crime drama, as he takes the leading role in Bloodlands, a major original crime thriller for BBC One.

When a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough, Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick (Nesbitt) quickly connects it to an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance. ‘Bloodlands’ follows his dogged hunt for a legendary assassin, an explosive cat-and-mouse game where the stakes have never been higher.

“It’s great to be back making a drama in and about Northern Ireland, which now has a film and television industry as good as any in the world,” commented Nesbitt. “We have compelling scripts from a brilliant young writer who was raised in County Down, which are very exciting and psychologically complex. I can’t wait to start.”

The series comes from Chris Brandon, with ‘Bloodlands’ being his first original drama series commission and the first drama from newly formed production company HTM Television. Whilst Brandon may be a new writer, HTM is a UK production company co-owned by Hat Trick Productions (‘Flack’, ‘Derry Girls’, ‘Doctor Thorne’) and Jed Mercurio, the acclaimed creator of ‘Bodyguard’ and ‘Line Of Duty’, so he has some pretty amazing people backing him.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the first opportunity I get to tell a story on this scale, it is one that is so close to home and the people and places that raised me,” commented Chris Brandon. “On top of that, to be telling it with James Nesbitt, Jed Mercurio and the incredible team at HTM is a total privilege.”

Mercurio himself adds “It’s been incredibly rewarding to discover Chris Brandon’s work and to witness the development of an outstanding new voice in contemporary television thriller writing, added to which everyone at HTM Television is honoured an actor of James Nesbitt’s brilliance will star in our debut production.”

‘Bloodlands’ was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC Content. The executive producers are Jed Mercurio, Jimmy Mulville and Mark Redhead for HTM Television and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC. It will be directed by Pete Travis (‘Omagh’, ‘The Go-Between’) and produced by Christopher Hall (‘The Durrells’, ‘Critical’). It will be produced with funding from Northern Ireland Screen. Filming will take place in and around Belfast and Strangford Lough.

“In Bloodlands Chris has crafted a cracking contemporary thriller which manages to be both completely gripping while shining a light on to the legacy of the troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland,” commented Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. “We are thrilled to be working with Chris, Jimmy, Jed and the team at HTM to bring this visceral story to BBC One.”

There is no premiere date yet for Bloodlands, but filming will take place in and around Belfast and Strangford Lough. We’ll let you know when we hear more.