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First Look: Bancroft

Bancroft is a twisting, turning new four-part thriller with a tortured female detective at its heart. Leading actress Sarah Parish (Broadchurch, W1A, Cutting It) will play respected police officer DCI Elizabeth Bancroft, a woman with dark secrets in her past.

Written and created by Kate Brooke (Mr Selfridge, Ice Cream Girls, The Making of a Lady), the series explores what happens when heinous crimes, long buried in the past, come back to haunt us. The four-part series will air on ITV 1 on four consecutive days, with the first on 11 December at 9pm.

Ruthless and courageous, Bancroft is a brilliant copper. She has given her life to the police force. Consequently, she’s trusted and adored by her colleagues and promotion to Detective Chief Superintendent looks assured. Bancroft is running an operation to bring down the pernicious and vicious Kamara gang. She adopts dubious methods, but the most violent brother, Athif, rules the local town with an iron fist, so it’s hard not to applaud her actions.

Joining Sarah is acclaimed actress Faye Marsay (Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, Love, Nina), who takes on the role of DS Katherine Stevens, an ambitious fast-tracked recruit. When Katherine is assigned to a particular cold case, she unwittingly disturbs the ghosts of the past and what she unearths shakes Bancroft to her core.

International actor, Linus Roache (Vikings, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) makes his return to British television, taking the role of Tim Frazer, a man widowed when his wife, Laura, was brutally murdered in their home 27 years previously – an unsolved crime Elizabeth seems to know more about than she’s letting on. This knowledge won’t stay buried and it seems Elizabeth Bancroft will be forced to confront her demons.

Further cast includes Amara Karan (The Night Of, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man), Adrian Edmondson (War and Peace, Prey), Art Malik (Cold Feet, Indian Summers, Homeland), Kenneth Cranham (War and Peace, Rome), Adam Long (Happy Valley, Home Fires), Lee Boardman (The Five, Da Vinci’s Demons) and Steve Evets (One of Us, Looking for Eric).

Kate Brooke commented: “I wanted to explore a powerful, charming, morally ambiguous woman who has a shocking secret in her past. I was also fascinated to explore the relationship between an older and younger woman – Katherine begins by hero worshipping Elizabeth and ends by obsessively wanting to bring her down…Set in a busy northern city, Bancroft isn’t a police procedural drama. Police officers are portrayed as a close-knit unit, fighting together against the darkness of the world. Throughout the series, Elizabeth Bancroft is running an operation to bring down the pernicious and vicious Kamara gang. She adopts dubious methods, but the most violent brother, Athif, is so vile it’s hard not to applaud her actions.”

The drama will be produced by Phil Collinson (Midwinter of the Spirit, Coronation Street, Dr Who) and directed by John Hayes (Vera, Home Fires).

Drama Commissioner Jane Hudson added: “In spite of her exemplary record as a police officer, Elizabeth Bancroft is a manipulative and destructive character. She’s not all she seems and it’ll be interesting for the audience to get to know her. We’re delighted to commission Bancroft from Tall Story Pictures and to be working with Kate Brooke on such excellent scripts.”

Don’t miss the first episode of Bancroft on 11 December at 9pm on ITV 1!

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