Mammoth Screen is behind a new three-part mystery Remember Me for BBC One, written by Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Five Days, Miss Austen Regrets), which starts filming this week in Huddersfield and Scarborough.
Michael Palin will play Tom Parfitt, a frail, old Yorkshireman seemingly alone in the world, whose admittance to a nursing home triggers a series of inexplicable events. The role marks the first time in more than 20 years that Palin is heading the cast of a BBC drama.
On the day elderly Tom Parfitt leaves his home to move into residential care, he becomes the sole witness to a violent death. Teenage care assistant Hannah (Jodie Comer, My Mad Fat Diary) and investigating police detective Rob Fairholme (Mark Addy, The Full Monty, Atlantis), try to unravel the riddle of his mysterious history, and are drawn into a world of lost love and betrayal.
Palin says: "This is my first lead role in a TV drama series since GBH. It's also a return to Yorkshire, where I was born, brought up and learnt my acting in amateur dramatics.
"I was attracted to Remember Me not only by the northern setting, but also by a good, strong challenging role, something I could really get what remains of my teeth into... I've always loved ghost stories, so playing the lead in one is a very exciting prospect."
Julia Sawalha (Larkrise To Candleford) also stars as Hannah's troubled mother Jan Ward with Mina Anwar (The Thin Blue Line) as Tom's neighbour Roshana Salim.
Chris Carey (The Ambassadors, Dirk Gently, Run) is the producer, and Ashley Pearce (The Accused: Tracie's Story, Garrow's Law) directs.
Controller of BBC One, Charlotte Moore, says: “It’s a real coup for us that Michael Palin has chosen to make his return to a leading role for the first time in over 20 years on BBC One, and a testament to Gwyneth Hughes’ hauntingly brilliant script.”
Rebecca Keane, executive producer for Mammoth Screen, says: "Remember Me is a strikingly original supernatural story. With the hugely impressive young actor Jodie Comer joining Mark Addy and Michael Palin in the key roles, we're confident this will be a very special drama."
Mammoth Screen's recent credits for the BBC include Parade's End and Blandings, and they are behind the forthcoming Poldark series for BBC One.
The executive producers are Rebecca Keane and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, Gwyneth Hughes and Polly Hill for the BBC.
Remember Me is a UK Tax Credit production, with additional funding from ITV GE & North Light Film Studios in West Yorkshire.
It will air later in 2014.