UKTV has commissioned a new series from RED Production Company (Happy Valley, Queer As Folk) which will air on its crime drama channel, Alibi, later this year.
Written by Amelia Bullmore (Scott & Bailey, This Life) and based on an original idea by best-selling crime writer Val McDermid, the six-part drama explores the world of the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science through the eyes of three women: Emma Hedges, Prof. Sarah Gordon and Prof. Kathy Torrance.
When 23-year-old Emma returns to Scotland to take up a new position as a lab assistant at SIFA, she signs up to a MOOC – Massive Online Open Course – which teaches the principles of forensic science.
But she soon discovers that the fictitious case study has a strikingly similar and shocking link to her past.
As Emma’s sleuthing takes her into darker corners and unpicks more and more secrets, it becomes clear that she should trust no-one.
It will be Sarah and Kathy’s exacting minds that reward Emma’s faith in the science that has fuelled her imagination and who will ultimately bring a killer to justice.
Running alongside Emma’s central story, other cases and different forensic disciplines will shine a spotlight on science’s contribution to solving the mysteries of human existence.
Cast details will be announced “over the coming months”.
UKTV drama commissioner Philippa Collie Cousins said: “When the idea came over from RED it genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
“The fantastic writing talent in Amelia Bullmore coupled with Nicola Shindler and the team at RED will make Alibi’s first ever drama commission something really quite special.
“With strong female characters this is Happy Valley meets Silent Witness, a dark and exciting show that I can’t wait for us to get cracking on.”
Alibi channel director Emma Ayech added: “Alibi has an incredibly engaged audience of passionate crime drama fans.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to grow our slate of scripted shows and give our viewers a brand-new UKTV Original series that we hope they will love.”
Nicola Shindler, founder and executive producer of RED Production Company, said: “I am really excited to be working with UKTV bringing Amelia’s compelling and original scripts to life.
“From the brilliant mind of Val McDermid this is a mystery I want the Alibi audience to find totally addictive.”
The series will be distributed internationally by BBC Studios, one of UKTV’s shareholders.