ITV has commissioned Cold Water, starring Andrew Lincoln in his long-awaited return to British television.

Ewen Bremner (Our Flag Means Death, Trainspotting), Indira Varma (Obsession, Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Eve Myles (Hijack, Keeping Faith) line up alongside Lincoln in David Ireland’s (The Lovers, Ulster American, Cyprus Avenue) new six-part thriller.

Set in the fictional Scottish village of Coldwater, the series is written, created and executive produced by the playwright. Produced by SISTER (Eric, This Is Going To Hurt, Chernobyl) for ITV1 and ITVX, Lee Haven Jones (Passenger, Ruth, Doctor Who) will direct the first three episodes.

Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead, Teachers) plays John, a repressed man who is shocked to find himself in middle age, secretly raging at his life as a stay-at-home dad.

When his failure to intervene in a violent confrontation in a playground brings his identity crisis to a head, John ups and moves his family to the rural idyll of Coldwater, as far away from London as possible.

Upon arrival, John is quickly befriended by next-door neighbour Tommy (Bremner), a charming, confident man, devoted husband to the local vicar Rebecca (Myles). He is a man of faith, a pillar of the community and self-appointed leader of the village’s all-male book group.

John is both impressed and slightly fascinated by Tommy. His wife Fiona (Varma) despises him. As a successful former chef hoping to launch a new venture in Coldwater, Fiona sees the move as an opportunity to leave the past behind them. To not only re-build their lives as a family but re-ignite the long-lost spark in their fading marriage. When her husband’s relationship with their enigmatic new neighbour becomes increasingly intense, Fiona’s suspicions are aroused. She is unconvinced Tommy is all he seems to be.

But John remains blissfully unaware that Tommy is harbouring horrifying secrets, and it’s only after a series of unsettling incidents start to occur that John begins to wonder who the real Tommy actually is.

And when John’s long-repressed rage comes to a head with disastrous results, he soon finds himself unexpectedly indebted to his new friend.

Commented David Ireland, Writer, Creator & Exec Producer: “Cold Water started with a question I was asking myself. Where do I want to live – the countryside or the city? Such an innocent beginning, but from it came this dark, funny, twisted thriller. I was delighted when Sister loved the script and thrilled when ITV decided to commission it.  And I’m amazed we’ve managed to attract such a peerless cast, led by the formidable Andrew Lincoln. I hope viewers will be find it intoxicating.”

Commented Polly Hill, ITV Head of Drama: “We are very excited for ITV to be the home for this brilliant new thriller exploring masculinity, religion and ultimately murder. David’s scripts are wonderful, and original and have attracted an incredible cast led by Andrew Lincoln. It promises to be a really unmissable drama and I am delighted to be working with Jane Featherstone again and her brilliant team at Sister.”

Commented Chris Fry, Managing Director & Exec Producer, SISTER: “The rural idyll of Coldwater is at first glance a place where nothing bad could ever happen, but you know with David’s bold, subversive writing darkness is always lurking just beneath the surface. David is a master of crafting morally complex characters that you feel utterly compelled to watch, and we can’t put these scripts down. Led by the incredible Andrew Lincoln, Ewen Bremner, Indira Varma and Eve Myles, Cold Water is a thriller that will surprise, horrify and delight in equal measure. Myself and my brilliant fellow executive producers, Alice Tyler, Lydia Hampson and Jane Featherstone at SISTER are excited to be partnering once again with Polly, ITV, the teams at ITV Studios.

The series will be executive produced by Chris Fry (Landscapers, Kaos), Alice Tyler (The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies), Lydia Hampson (Fleabag, The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies) and Jane Featherstone (Chernobyl, Eric), for SISTER, David Ireland and Andrew Lincoln with Brian Coffey (Dinosaur, Our Ladies) set to produce.

ITV Studios will handle the international distribution of the series.

Further casting and production details are yet to be announced with filming due to start later in 2024.

Andrew Lincoln is represented by CAA, Range Media Partners, Wolf Kasteler and attorney Geoffry Oblath.

Jon Creamer

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