Channel 4 has announced the cast joining Niamh Algar (The Virtues, Raised by Wolves, Calm with Horses) in Deceit, 4×60’ drama produced by Story Films and written by Emilia di Girolamo (The Tunnel).
The series examines the controversial honeytrap at the heart of the high-pressure investigation into the murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992.
Eddie Marsan, Harry Treadaway, Sion Daniel Young, Rochenda Sandall and Nathaniel Martello-White have all joined the cast.
Examining the complicated and toxic sexual politics of the early ‘90s and the police’s obsession with the wrong man, Deceit sees a female undercover officer, codename ‘Lizzie James’, asked to become sexual bait for a suspected killer.
Five months on from the crime, The Met Police are still no closer to capturing the man they’re convinced is responsible. First identified through a BBC Crimewatch appeal, the evidence points to Colin Stagg (Sion Daniel Young – Keeping Faith, Doc Martin).
The media feed a national obsession, and the police are determined to catch the man who, in their eyes, is guilty before he kills again. In desperation, the relatively young Detective Inspector leading the case, Keith Pedder (Harry Treadaway – The Crown, Star Trek: Picard), engages the nation’s most famous criminal proﬁler, Paul Britton (Eddie Marsan – Ray Donovan, Vice), to help devise a bold undercover operation which will see an attractive, young female officer start a relationship with Colin Stagg.
Growing up under Thatcher’s reign, with second-wave feminism, ‘Lizzie James’ (Niamh Algar) is determined to rise through the ranks. But the early ‘90s has brought with it an inevitable backlash in the shape of ‘Lad Culture’, obliterating any feminist gains and putting women ﬁrmly back in their place, something felt by both ‘Lizzie’ and her friend and colleague Lucy (Rochenda Sandall – Line of Duty, Criminal: UK).
Hugely ambitious, ‘Lizzie’ has found a way to stand out by becoming one of very few female undercover officers deployed in covert operations, in a team which includes her sometime confidant Baz (Nathaniel Martello-White – I Hate Suzie, Collateral, Small Axe: Mangrove) … But then she’s offered a central role in the biggest murder enquiry the country has ever seen…
With access to previously unheard audio, video and written materials, Deceit includes scenes of verbatim dialogue as part of a ﬁctionalised retelling of events.
Deceit (w/t) is directed by Niall MacCormick (The Victim, Complicit). Executive Producers are David Nath and Peter Beard (The Interrogation of Tony Martin) and Emilia di Girolamo with Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto (Pale Horse) producing.
The series is produced by Story Films (The Cure, Unspeakable), backed by All3Media, for Channel 4 and has been commissioned by Channel 4’s Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick. Deceit is in association with All3media International who will also distribute.
Caroline Hollick, Head of Channel 4 Drama says, “I couldn’t think of a more phenomenally talented ensemble than Eddie, Harry, Sion, Nathaniel and Rochenda to join Niamh Algar, who is fast becoming an iconic star of the Channel, in order to shine a light on one of the most shocking stories in modern policing. The unique female perspective of Emilia’s extraordinary scripts, alongside the stellar performances of our cast, combined with Story Films’ trademark journalistic rigor create a truly sensitive, nuanced and incredibly powerful 4-part drama that we are incredibly proud of.”
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