Showtime & BBC Order Gothic Thriller Series


Showtime and the BBC have commissioned The Woman in the Wall, a six-part gothic thriller starring Ruth Wilson (Luther) and Daryl McCormack (Peaky Blinders).

The series centers on Lorna Brady, a woman prone to sleepwalking who wakes one morning to find a corpse in her house, with no knowledge of who the dead woman is or if she herself is responsible. Unluckily for her, an ambitious detective is also on her tail for a seemingly unrelated crime.

To add another layer to the story, Lorna’s extreme bouts of sleepwalking began around the time she was ripped from her life at 15 and incarcerated in a convent, home to one of Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries. When it closed its doors, a host of survivors were left suffering in its wake, with few women able to go on and lead relatively normal lives.

The Woman in the Wall is produced by Motive Pictures, an Endeavor Content-backed company. Wilson will executive produce the show alongside series creator Joe Murtagh (Calm with Horses) and Harry Wootliff (True Things, Only You), who will also direct multiple episodes. Rachna Suri (Half Bad) is second block director.

The new drama will air on Showtime in the U.S. and on BBC One and iPlayer in the U.K. Paramount Global Content Distribution will distribute the series in all other territories.

The Woman in the Wall takes on a startling story about a notorious and heartbreaking scandal in Ireland, one that destroyed the lives of women for more than 200 years,” said Jana Winograde, co-president of entertainment at Showtime Networks. “We are thrilled to bring the incomparable Ruth Wilson back to Showtime with such a powerful, moving series that is also incredibly relevant to our culture today.”

“It’s a real pleasure to announce this remarkable new series for BBC One and iPlayer,” added Ben Irving, acting director of BBC Drama. “Joe Murtagh’s scripts are surprising, moving and continually compelling, with two lead characters who I cannot wait to see brought to life by the extraordinary talents of Ruth Wilson and Daryl McCormack. With Harry Wootliff in the director’s chair, audiences are in for six incredible hours of drama.”

Wilson said, “Lorna Brady is a complex and fascinating character, and I’m thrilled to help bring her to life. In The Woman in the Wall, Joe has created both an enthralling gothic thriller and a moving examination of the legacy of the Magdalene Laundries. It’s a privilege to bring this story to screens.”

“My family is from Mayo, the county in which the fictional Kilkinure is set, and it deeply frustrates and saddens me that it feels so few people have heard of the Laundries that existed across Ireland,” said Murtagh. “I hope that by making something that has the familiarity of a genre piece we are able to shed some light on the awful things that occurred within these kinds of institutions and introduce this history to the wider public so that nothing like it may ever happen again.”