Red Planet Pictures and ITV Drama have selected Devin Doyle as this year’s winner of the Red Planet Prize for his family drama Devoted Wife and Mother.
Launched ten years ago, the award recognizes writers who can create “fresh, original and inspiring” popular drama content. Doyle will get a script commission and development opportunities with ITV, alongside runner-up Sharma Walfall, who has secured development funding from Red Planet Pictures. Doyle’s Devoted Wife and Mother follows a woman whose life is turned upside down when her debt-dealing husband is kidnapped with a hefty ransom deadline set for 5 p.m. that day.
Doyle said: “I’m excited, delighted and still more than a little shocked to have been named the winner of the Red Planet Prize.
“I’m deeply grateful to Red Planet Pictures and ITV for the opportunity the competition affords emerging writers. It’s a privilege, and I can’t wait to get stuck into the work.”
Walfall’s original pitch, The Front Room, set in 1960’s Manchester, is being developed with Red Planet Pictures.
Walfall commented: “Being a runner-up in such an incredible competition filled with such talented writers and being able to work with Red Planet Pictures, is mind-blowing and exciting. This means the world to me as the story that I want to tell is very close to my heart. Thank you to Red Planet Pictures and ITV for picking me. I’m really looking forward to the future of this project.”
Red Planet’s Tony Jordan said: “We know this industry can be hard to break into, which is why we believe so fervently in giving opportunities like the Red Planet Prize to brilliant and talented writers. All 1,300 entries this year showed great promise, but Devin’s assured and great visual style makes him a real talent for the future, and I believe that Devoted Wife and Mother will make an incredible piece of drama for viewers to get their teeth stuck into.”
ITV’s Victoria Fea added: “We were excited by the range and diversity of storytelling on offer this year and had a difficult job in creating a shortlist—a situation which reflects the dynamism and creativity in the TV drama industry. However, both Devin and Sharma submitted pitches which had great potential for development; showing a great deal of thought about how their idea would stand out in a competitive marketplace.”