Edinburgh TV Festival: BBC1 has greenlit three new dramas, including two Scottish-set four-parters and factual drama The Barker Murders.

Scotland will provide the backdrop to two new drama series for BBC One – psychological drama The Cry, adapted from the Helen FitzGerald novel and The Victim, a contemporary legal thriller told through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused.

Made by two Scottish production companies, Synchronicity Films (The Cry) and STV Productions (The Victim), both dramas have been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content.  

Meanwhile, The Barking Murders is a new factual drama from ITV Studios which tells the true story of the murders of four young gay men by Stephen Port.

From Jeff Pope and Neil McKay, the team behind The Moorside and Appropriate Adult, The Barking Murders is a new factual drama which sheds new light on this story by telling it from the point of view of the families of Stephen Port’s victims, focusing on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers.

Writer, Neil McKay, said: "Four young men with their entire future ahead of them lost their lives in a brutal and tragic way. This is a story not only of the consequences of that loss but also of the extraordinary courage and resilience shown by those who loved them as they sought truth and justice."

Written by Neil McKay, the 3×60’ drama will be produced by Ken Horn and executive produced by Jeff Pope for ITV Studios, Head of Factual Drama, Neil McKay, and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The drama has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content for BBC ONE.
The Cry is the first television commission for Scottish-based production company Synchronicity Films. Written by Jacquelin Perske, adapted from the novel by Helen FitzGerald, the four-part drama is a thrilling, psychological drama set in Scotland and Australia, that chronicles the collapse of a marriage in the aftermath of a tragedy, and explores the myths and truths of motherhood.

The abduction of a baby from a small coastal town in Australia is the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young woman – Joanna – as she and her husband, Alistair, deal with an unthinkable tragedy under both the white light of public scrutiny and in their private lives.

The Cry is a 4×60’ drama written by Jacquelin Perske. The drama will be produced by Brian Kaczynski and Executive Produced by Claire Mundell for Synchronicity Films and Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Gaynor Holmes for BBC ONE. The Cry will be filmed in Scotland and Australia next year, and DRG hold the distribution rights.

Made by STV Productions and written by Rob Williams, The Victim is a contemporary legal thriller told through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused.  

 Carl, a hard working family man from Dundee, is the victim of a random, unprovoked attack, after being identified online as a notorious child murderer living under a new identity.  With his life collapsing around him, should Carl keep his head down and pray for the smoke to clear – or try to prove his innocence?  Is he simply the tragic victim of mistaken identity; or the dangerous killer he is suspected of being?

Anna is the mother of a teenage boy who was murdered twenty years ago by a then fourteen-year old boy. Having campaigned to be told of the killer’s new identity and whereabouts, she is then accused of revealing his identity online and conspiring to have him murdered.  Has the anger of a grieving mother turned her into a criminal too? What exactly is she guilty of – and what is she capable of doing in her son’s name?

Played out through the lens of one criminal trial, moral dilemmas will be thrown up and sides will be taken in these two very different quests for justice.

The Victim is a 4×60’ drama written by Rob Williams. Executive producers are Sarah Brown and Rob Williams for STV Productions, and Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Gaynor Holmes for BBC ONE. The drama will start filming in Scotland early next year.

Staff Reporter

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