Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Doors Open, The Killing becomes a novel, Hunted, Spies of Warsaw

• News of interesting new dramas has been coming in almost daily announcements. Here's the poster for Hunted (formerly Nemesis), BBC1's new spy thriller series that was being touted at the MIPTV industry gathering in Cannes last week. This was commissioned just as Spooks was decommissioned last year, and it has some interesting operatives working on it. Frank Spotnitz, the guy who wrote around 50 episodes of The X Files, has scripted it, and Melissa George, the Aussie actress seen recently in The Slap, is the star. Here's the synopsis: 'This is the story of a spy with a bull's eye on her back, a human target unable to trust anyone at any time, even the man she loves. She is running for her life.' The Beeb has also lined up another espionage yarn, The Spies of Warsaw, based on Alan Furst's best-seller and starring former Time Lord David Tennant. Script is by those old likely lads Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. BBC bosses say it will be 'thrilling and insightful' and offer a 'very different take on the Second World War.'

• I've interviewed British author David Hewson over on the Huffington Post UK about his new novelisation of The Killing. It's a big book, intricate, with a new twist to the story at the end. 'This was not a standard TV tie-in,' he told me. 'It is different in significant ways.' The book will be launched at CrimeFest in Bristol next month. Read all about it here.

• Meanwhile, ITV has put Doors Open into production – an art heist story based on a novel by one of Britain's best writers, Rebus creator Ian Rankin. An interesting cast includes Stephen Fry as the art expert Prof Gissing and Dougie Henshall as the rich guy who decides to rip-off a bank's private art collection. ITV are also just about to start filming The Bletchley Circle, about a former wartime code-breaker who believes she has spotted a pattern in the murders of two women. This stars Anna Maxwell Martin, Rachael Stirling, Sophie Rundle and Julie Graham.

• At Home with Noonans is a slice of real gang life. It is investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre's follow-up to his award-winning documentary A Very British Gangster. The new eye-opening series, on the Crime & Investigation Network (Sundays, 10pm), follows key members of the family and associates. Filmed over ten years, it's a close-up look at a family in a community ravaged by crime, meeting a variety of characters along the way – call girls, hit men, doormen, rioters, priests, cage fighters, Irish republicans, actors and rappers. It has some extraordinary moments.