Fans of high quality crime fiction TV adaptations, rejoice! This autumn a brand new eight-part series looks set to dominate our screens and conversations. Based on the first two books in the terrific Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French – In The Woods and The Likeness – Dublin Murders looks like a seriously classy piece of television. And it’s nearly upon us.
It’s been written by Sarah Phelps, the talented and in-demand screenwriter behind the BBC’s recent Agatha Christie adaptations The Witness for the Prosecution, Ordeal by Innocence and The ABC Murders. So this ‘dark and psychological mystery’, is in seriously good hands.
The action takes place in Dublin at the turn of the 21st century and stars Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful, Ransom, Noble) and Killian Scott (Trespass Against Us, Strike, Ripper Street) as Irish police detectives Cassie Maddox and Rob Reilly. The duo work for the elite ‘Murder Squad’ and are tasked with investigating the gruesome murder of a young ballerina found ritualistically killed in the woods. Things soon get complicated when the murder gets linked with another.
The BBC have elaborated somewhat on the basic plot by teasing with this little snippet:
‘Against his better judgment and protected by his friendship with Cassie, Rob is pulled back into another case of missing children and forced to confront his own darkness. As the case intensifies, Rob and Cassie’s relationship is tested to breaking point and when Cassie is sent undercover for another murder case, she is forced to come face to face with her own brutal reckoning…’
Take a sneak peak at what to expect from Dublin Murders here in its trailer:
If the trailer is a true reflection of what’s to come from the show, then it looks like we’ve got eight weeks of ominous, grim and tense drama in store.
‘I was so delighted to have been asked to help create the complex, strange world of Dublin Murders,’ screenwriter Sarah Phelps says. ‘I like writing about big turning points, where professional and personal lives coalesce, where the boundaries are coming down, and you’re faced with a set of choices which will change life forever.’ She explains, ‘Tana’s compelling novels are both nail-biting thrillers, enquiries into the nature of evil and heartbreaking stories of human frailty, love and loss. I couldn’t be more excited to be bringing Dublin Murders to audiences.’
Lead director and executive producer Saul Dibb adds, ‘Writers as good as Sarah Phelps are rare and I want people to be as excited to watch Dublin Murders as I was to first read her scripts – with each episode the powerful, gripping, atmospheric, brilliantly acted mini-movie they deserve.’
‘It’s a very taut, tense exploration of the darker side of human nature’, star Killian Scott says about the project. ‘It’s really hard for me to talk about the series with giving everything away,’ he goes on. ‘But basically I play Robert Reilly, who partners with Cassie to investigate a murder in Dublin in 2006 and there are suspicions that it might perhaps be related to a previous case, which has a great degree of relevance for the two central characters – myself and Sarah. So it follows us over the course of eight episodes investigating a dark underbelly of Dublin and the impact the case has our on our lives, which is not good.’
‘This is a psychological thriller,’ he says. ‘There’s some action in there as well but it’s a very taut, tense exploration of the darker side of human nature, the past and memory and identity and how the pressures of this particular job fall on the shoulders of these two individuals.’
Tana French’s six Dublin Murder Squad books really drill down into the psychology and reasoning behind psychopathy and extreme violence. Here’s hoping the television adaptation does too. With Phelps on writing duties, Journey’s End director Dibb heading things up behind the camera and a talented cast and crew, this new series looks like it could well be everyone’s new favourite crime drama.
Dublin Murders begins on Monday 14 October at 9pm on BBC One. Will you be tuning in?