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First Look: Fearless

Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory is to star as Emma Banville in Fearless, a new six-part political thriller which begins this week on ITV.

Emma Banville is a human rights lawyer known for defending lost causes. She’s investigating the killing of a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl in East Anglia and trying to prove the innocence of Kevin Russell, a man she thinks was wrongly convicted of the girl’s murder. As she digs ever deeper into the case, she begins to sense powerful forces, in the police and the intelligence services at home and abroad, who want to stop her uncovering the truth.

Also starring alongside Helen are BAFTA winner Sir Michael Gambon (Fortitude), actor and comedian John Bishop (Accused), Emmy nominee Robin Weigert (American Horror Story), Jonathan Forbes (Catastrophe), Wunmi Mosaku (Black Mirror) and Jamie Bamber (Marcella).

Further cast includes Christine Bottomley (In The Club), Rebecca Callard (Ordinary Lies), Emma Hamilton (Mr Selfridge), Kika Markham (Secret State), Jack Shepherd (The Politician’s Husband), Sam Swainsbury (Mum) and Rick Warden (Happy Valley).

Fearless has been created by Homeland and 24 writer Patrick Harbinson and produced by Mammoth Screen (Endeavour, And Then There Were None, Poldark).

Helen McCrory commented, “When I was at drama school I was inspired by Prime Suspect, watching as Britain led the way in creating strong female characters to lead their dramas. I’m thrilled to be leading ITV’s new drama – it’s a thriller that starts deceptively small, then begins crossing borders to different cultures and continents. I knew and admired Patrick Harbinson’s writing for Homeland, and Pete Travis and I have worked together before – that shorthand is so important on such a big project with ambitions running high. I can’t wait to start filming.”

Fearless is a legal thriller,” said Patrick Harbinson, “but one that’s written in the crash zone where law and politics collide.” He added, “I wanted to create a character who…fights for those outside the normal run of society, and who is uncompromising, difficult, and completely indifferent to unpopularity and danger. The result was Emma Banville and Fearless. I’m delighted that Helen McCrory has agreed to play Emma. She is a complex and contradictory character, and I am incredibly lucky to have someone of Helen’s wit, warmth and intelligence bringing her to life.”

“Emma Banville is the kind of character who hates to back down,” said Victoria Fea, Controller of Drama at ITV. “Against all the odds she’s driven by the unfolding mystery of that 2003 murder and whether the killer was unjustly convicted. Fearless is a complex, taut thriller and we’re delighted to be commissioning the series from Mammoth Screen.”

Damien Timmer, Executive Producer and Mammoth Screen’s Managing Director, said of the casting: “Michael Gambon is a legend, one of the UK’s finest actors, and it’s a real thrill for us that he will be joining the brilliant Helen McCrory in Fearless. The range and depth of the cast that director Pete Travis has assembled is testament to Patrick Harbinson’s wonderful scripts, following Emma Banville as she risks everything in her quest for the truth.”

Fearless will be produced by Adrian Sturges (Houdini and Doyle, The Enfield Haunting, The Disappearance of Alice Creed) and executive produced by Damien Timmer (Victoria, Poldark, And Then There Were None), (Endeavour, Black Work) and Patrick Harbinson. Developed by Mammoth’s Creative Director Rebecca Keane, the series will be directed by BAFTA winner Pete Travis (The Go-Between, Legacy, Omagh). It will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Don’t miss the first episode of Fearless on Monday 12 June at 9pm on ITV 1!


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