Mark Gatiss to Write, Lead New Detective Drama


Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Sherlock) is set to write and star in Bookish, an upcoming original UKTV-commissioned detective drama.

Bookish is set to land on UKTV’s specialist crime-drama channel Alibi in 2025. The six-part series is produced by Eagle Eye Drama, while Beta Film will handle worldwide sales.

The series is being produced in association with Happy Duck Films and is supported by the Belgian Tax Shelter.

Gatiss writes the series and stars as the erudite and unconventional Gabriel Book who, from his antiquarian bookshop, helps the police to solve a variety of mysterious crimes.

Starring alongside Gatiss will be Polly Walker (Bridgerton, Line of Duty). Bookish will also feature a wealth of guest stars, including Joely Richardson (The Gentleman, The Ballad of Renegade Nell), Daniel Mays (The Long Shadow, Code 404) and Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83, Concordia), among others.

Gatiss said: “To misquote Goodfellas: ‘All my life I’ve wanted to be a detective!’ I couldn’t be more excited to be bringing this series to the screen, and to plunge viewers into our intoxicating version of post-War London. It’s an under-examined time and an under-examined world, and Bookish is the strange, funny and thrilling show that I’ve always wanted to make.”

Helen Perry, head of drama for UKTV, commented: “UKTV is the home for writers’ passion projects, and we are so proud to be working with the exceptionally talented Mark Gatiss on his, along with the effervescent team at Eagle Eye. Mark’s unique detective thriller is full of wit and heart, with a central platonic love story that is sure to enthral audiences. And because Book is a gay man at a time when it was illegal to be so, we are proud that the drama shines a light on an important LGBTQ+ story. The star-studded cast Eagle Eye have already put together is tribute to the sure-fire hit Bookish is to become.”

Emma Ayech, channel director for Alibi, added: “The story and setting of this brand-new drama is perfect for the Alibi audience, and I’m excited to see how the wonderful cast and crew bring it to life on-screen. We have a wealth of UKTV original dramas coming down the track, and I’m thrilled we’re adding this fantastic addition into the mix.”

Jo McGrath, chief creative officer for Eagle Eye Drama, said: “There are some characters, some ideas that just leap off the page and demand to be realized. Book, Trottie and the clever crimes Mark Gatiss has woven around the precinct of Archangel Lane is one of those projects. The answer to every crime can be found in a book, and in Bookish, Mark Gatiss has created a unique, memorable and stand-out new detective series.”

Oliver Bachert, chief distribution officer for Beta Film, commented: “With Bookish, we are thrilled to unveil a truly unique and compelling series that blends a classic detective story with the rich tapestry of post-war London, brought to life by the brilliant Mark Gatiss. With its mix of mystery, history and heartfelt drama, it is another milestone in our successful partnership with Eagle Eye Drama. Bookish is sure to become a great example of a sophisticated crime drama and instant classic for audiences around the world. We’re proud to bring this exciting series to the global stage.”