ITV has commissioned a new six-part drama run of Dark Heart, which stars Tom Riley as DI Will Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the murder of his parents when he was 16 years old.
Whilst devoting his life to his work, Will Wagstaffe, also known as Staffe to his colleagues, battles personal demons. He’s haunted by the unresolved murder of his parents, which affects both his private and professional life including his on-off romance with sometimes girlfriend, Sylvie, played by Miranda Raison.
His closest relationship is with his sister Juliette, played by Charlotte Riley, and young nephew Harry, who stays with him when Juliette has troubles with her boyfriend.
With no parents and no significant partner of his own, Juliette and Harry mean everything to Staffe. Determined and tenacious, Wagstaffe is an exceptionally good police officer, in spite of the fact he’s been known for pushing the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable policing.
The series is written by screenwriter Chris Lang whose work includes award-winning drama Unforgotten, Torn, Undeniable and A Mother’s Son and produced by drama label Silverprint Pictures, the team responsible for ITV’s multi-award winning drama Vera starring Brenda Blethyn.
The show is inspired by characters created by novelist Adam Creed, who has written a series of books featuring Will Wagstaffe.
Filming will begin early Spring 2018 with Chris Lang writing the first two part story, Ben Harris (Marcella, The Musketeers) writing the second two part story with Lang writing episodes five and six.
The series has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill who commented: “We’re thrilled Tom Riley has agreed to return as Will Wagstaffe in Dark Heart.
“As the central character, he has immersed himself in police work to seek some form of closure for what has happened in his past.
“It’s a gritty, emotionally driven thriller from Chris Lang which I’m only too pleased to recommission from Kate Bartlett’s new drama label.”
Executive producer Kate Bartlett commented: “Wagstaffe is an uncompromising, contemporary drama which perfectly complements the Silverprint Pictures drama slate.
“Chris Lang has written truly compelling and atmospheric scripts and we’re delighted that Tom Riley is playing Will Wagstaffe.”