Lead writer hopes to attract audience back to Bergerac as popular crime drama is revived

  • ITV Channel reporter Katya Fowler speaks to the new lead writer of Bergerac and finds out what is in store for the troubled detective

The lead writer and executive producer of Jersey crime drama Bergerac says he hopes that the programme can run for many series after it was revived by British broadcaster UKTV.

Toby Whithouse is most famous for creating BBC supernatural show Being Human and has also written several Doctor Who episodes.

Now he is the showrunner responsible for bringing back the popular Detective Sergeant Jim Bergerac for an initial six episodes on U&DRAMA and online streaming service U.

A host of stars have signed up for the reboot including Damien Molony, Zoë Wanamaker and Philip Glenister.

Toby explains: "It's really exciting that we're going to be moving forward with this incredible cast, it's thrilling.

"When we talked to Phil Glenister about doing the show, he was in the last ever episode of the original series and another thing that struck us was the reverence in which the people of Jersey hold the original show.

"We're very mindful of that and it's a big responsibility, it's part of Jersey culture. Hopefully, we're not going to offend or upset anyone."

It is hoped that some local residents can play a part in the new series as extras with more details to follow soon.

Addressing concerns that some of the show is being shot in the UK, Toby explains: "Of course we have to keep Jersey at the absolute heart of the show so we're going to film there as much as possibly can.

"A lot of these things are dependent on budget and the availability of location and crew. As the series moves forward and hopefully we go into a second, third, fourth and fifth season, the plan is to gradually build up an infrastructure on Jersey.

"I've been several times in preparation for the show and it's a beautiful island, the people have been incredibly friendly and I think it's going to be a real delight to work there."

Sasha Behar and Philip Glenister in good spirits at a table read of the new Bergerac scripts. Credit: UKTV

It is more than 30 years since Bergerac was last filmed and it is hoped this latest series will keep the programme's essence while being suitable for a contemporary audience.

Toby adds: "The original show was very much a product of its time, we've obviously looked back at the original show but I think that has to be done with some caution.

"So much has changed in how we consume television and stories so we have to reflect that and move with the times."

One of those changes sees Zoë's character Charlie Hungerford change gender having previously been played by a man.

Toby explains: "We felt we wanted to have more of an equal balance between male and female representation in the show.

"It would look a little odd now if the balance is skewed now as much as it was so it was something we wanted to address."

However, key elements of Bergerac's identity will run through to the new series.

Toby says: "There are elements of the main character I really want to hang onto so Bergerac's struggle with alcoholism, I felt that was something that is timeless in a way and how he manages to maintain his work and obligations."

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