ITV and ITVX commissions thriller, Out There, starring Martin Clunes and Louis Ashbourne Serkis

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ITV and ITVX commissions thriller, Out There, starring Martin Clunes and Louis Ashbourne Serkis, written by Ed Whitmore and Marc Evans, produced by Buffalo Pictures

County lines drug dealing and an escalating, insidious crime wave sweeping the British countryside is the subject of new six-part ITV and ITVX drama, Out There, starring Martin Clunes, as a farmer confronted with dark forces seeping into his rural community.

The drama will depict the stealthy, surreptitious invasion of the land our farmer cherishes, with devastating consequences, as his livelihood, homestead and family life are threatened by local county lines drugs dealers, essentially urban gangs using the British countryside as a field of operations, moving drugs and money between their inner-city hubs and provincial areas.

Commented Martin Clunes:

"Im very happy to be working with Marc Evans and Ed Whitmore again after the success of Manhunt. Out There couldn’t be more different from Doc Martin. Its pretty dark, but definitely a story worth telling.

ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill has commissioned the series which will premiere on ITV1 and be available to stream on ITVX.

Commented Polly Hill:

Out There is a brilliantly compelling drama, from the team behind Manhunt, where county lines become very real for a father and son already dealing with the modern challenges of running a farm.  Martin Clunes is wonderful as Nathan, in a drama full of surprises, as he tries to navigate the best way to save his son, in a world he doesn’t understand.”

Written by screenwriter Ed Whitmore (Steeltown Murders, Grace, Manhunt, Silent Witness, Safe House) and director Marc Evans (Steeltown Murders, Manhunt, The Pembrokeshire Murders, Grav), and produced by Buffalo Pictures (Manhunt, Doc Martin, Arthur & George), the series is set in the beautiful Welsh countryside with filming currently underway.

Commented Writer and Executive Producer Ed Whitmore:

County lines is a particularly vicious and ruthless wave of drug dealing that uses fear and violence to coerce, often vulnerable, young people into working as runners and dealers. It has become a serious and rapidly increasing problem across the whole of the UK, so it felt like an important and timely story to tell.

Ed continued:

Ive always been fascinated by the notion of things being hidden in plain sight and the way in which different social worlds can co-exist cheek-by-jowl until, one day, they collide.  The fundamental premise of Out There - a widowed farmer who discovers that his son has fallen foul of county lines - immediately spoke to me as a story I wanted to tell.

Welsh born director Marc Evans commented:

We are thrilled to have the support of Creative Wales to produce Out There in my in my home country. We are able to explore beautiful and rarely seen areas around the Black Mountains and to use local talent for our cast and crew.

Martin Clunes plays Nathan Williams, a man who runs a farm which has been in his family for generations, caught in a numbing rhythm of work and grief following the death of his wife, Sabine, two years previously.  A single parent to teenager Johnny, played by Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Nathan is uniquely placed and possesses enough pent-up energy to take on the gangs that threaten to engulf his son.

Consequently, he embarks on a personal journey that will take him ever further out of his comfort zone into a dark alternative world as he fights to protect his family, his homestead and his legacy. He’s missed all the clues that the country idyll around him has been fatally compromised, contaminated by waves of criminality spreading and mutating virus-like from the city.

Now Nathan must accept that the rustic atmosphere of his childhood is long gone, replaced by something altogether more edgy and perilous. And the only way for Nathan, our hero, to survive in this brave new world is to learn the rules and fight back…..

Out There is produced by Philippa Braithwaite (Doc Martin, Manhunt, Arthur & George) and Evie Bergson-Korn (Farewell Doc Martin, Doc Martin as Development Producer, Manhunt as Co-Producer) and directed by Marc Evans with Philippa Langdale directing the final two episodes of the series. 

ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill is overseeing production from the channel’s perspective.  The drama is executive produced by Ed Whitmore and Marc Evans.

Acclaimed screenwriter, Ed Whitmore, is known for his hugely successful writing career, including his work on Silent Witness and Waking The Dead and previous collaborations with Martin Clunes and Marc Evans. Ed wrote series one and two of BAFTA nominated drama, Manhunt, which also earned Marc Evans a BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Director.

Amongst the actors also featuring in Out There are Mark Lewis Jones as Caleb Williams, Natalia Kostrzewa as Eva, Carly-Sophia Davies as Sadie and Gerran Howell as Rhys.

Filming has commenced in Wales and the drama is being produced in association with Creative Wales.

Deputy Director of Creative Wales, Gerwyn Evans said:

 “We are so pleased to be supporting the production of Out There which tells a very contemporary and gripping story of rural communities being affected by organised crime. While telling a dark and harrowing tale, Out There also showcases some of our stunning countryside, and is yet another example of first-class drama being made in Wales.

 “Creative Wales is focused on ensuring that our TV and film industry has a sustainable, ethical future that gives back to the economy and people of Wales. Productions like Out There which provide jobs, significant spend in our economy and trainee placements that help to build our long-term supply of talent, are absolutely crucial in helping us to meet this ambition.”

 

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