BBC Worldwide Showcase Celebrates British Crime Dramas


LIVERPOOL: Last night, BBC Worldwide Showcase fêted British crime drama with more than 30 actors, directors and writers from shows such as Death In Paradise, Ripper Street, Sherlock, Luther and Happy Valley in attendance.

Among those in attendance were Rosie Cavaliero (Prey), John Lynch (One of Us), Kevin Doyle (Happy Valley), MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street), Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Unforgotten), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks), Mark Williams (Father Brown), Richard Lintern (Silent Witness), Mark Strepan (New Blood), Matt Bardock (The Coroner), Luke Newbury (From Darkness), Kris Marshall (Death in Paradise), Claire Goose (The Coroner), Philip Glenister (Prey) and Ben Tavassolli (New Blood).

During the day, sessions were held on genres such as drama, formats, unscripted programs, documentaries and history.

In addition, writers and actors made themselves available for interviews and sessions with the press. First up were Neal Purvis and Rob Wade, writers of several James Bond movies, including Skyfall and Spectre, and who adapted Len Deighton’s book SS-GB into the BBC series of the same name. The writers shared their experience writing for a character as legendary as the lead of Ian Fleming’s books and what it was like working on their first TV project.

One of the highlights of the day was the roundtable with Sir David Attenborough, who at nearly 90 years old participated in a conference where buyers gave him a standing ovation and he then answered candid questions with incredible humility. Attenborough spoke of his start in television, the places around the world that have impressed him most and the work he’s done in conjunction with BBC’s Natural History Unit (NHU).

Elizabeth Kilgarriff, executive producer of Luther, commented on the success of the series and the personal touches that Idris Elba gives the character, as well as some specific events that have marked the development of the story. Kilgarriff is also executive producing a new title, Thirteen. Starring Marnie Dickens, the story centers on a teenage girl who disappeared when she was 13 and returns at 26, though there is no assurance that it is in fact the same young woman who disappeared years ago. Thirteen is set to debut on BBC Three.

The stars of Ripper Street, MyAnna Buring and Matthew MacFadyen, along with series writer Richard Warlow, joined a session highlighting the success of the Jack the Ripper story. When asked how they felt about Amazon ordering not just a third season of the show, but also a fourth and fifth simultaneously, they responded, “Very happy.” However, Warlow stated that the fifth season will probably be the right time to bid farewell to Ripper Street.

At the head of the Sherlock team was producer Sue Vertue, writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, and writer and executive producer Mark Gattis, who also plays Mycroft Holmes on the show. The creators of this global television phenomenon commented that the recently released special, The Abominable Bride, took about five weeks to shoot, a little more than it would take to complete a regular chapter. They also stressed that the process of writing an episode doesn’t have a defined time period, though it can usually take a long time. “We started writing the next season when we were 13,” they joked. In regards to the show’s new run, they could only say that filming will begin in April and is expected to end between June and July.

Anne Pivcevic is the producer of Silent Witness, a crime drama celebrating its 20th anniversary. She noted that the strengths of the show are rooted on the cast and stories, as well as the research carried out for each episode. Pivcevic said that each story takes place in the span of two episodes and that every season is renewed with guest actors.

Starring Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Maigret is one of the crime dramas generating the most buzz among buyers. Discussing this new production was writer Stewart Harcourt, executive producer Barnaby Thompson and John Simenon, son of the book series’ author, Georges Simenon. Each of them agreed that Atkinson did a great job in the starring role of a detective in 1950s Paris faced with the task of finding a murderer of women. The executives confessed they always had the actor in mind for the role, despite Rowan mostly being known for his comedies.

The day ended with Jill Green and Eve Gutierrez, producers of the title New Blood. The series stars Ben Tavassoli and Mark Strepan and is an original series shot in different locations around London.

Today, BBC Worldwide continues to offer its buyers the opportunity to see the company’s offerings on 600 Digital Screening Booths.

These interviews will be published in detail in TV Latina and World Screen over the course of the coming weeks.