Media release: The Cry and The Victim – Two exciting new BBC One dramas set for Scotland


SCOTLAND will provide the backdrop to two new compelling drama series for BBC One – psychological drama, The Cry, adapted from the Helen FitzGerald novel and The Victim, a gripping, contemporary legal thriller told through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused.

Made by two Scottish production companies, Synchronicity Films (The Cry) and STV Productions (The Victim), both dramas have been commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content.

Donalda MacKinnon, director, BBC Scotland says: “We’ve been very public about trying to boost our drama output as part of our strategy of providing programmes that are more relevant for audiences in Scotland – but which can also be enjoyed as compelling stories no matter where you live.

“Trust Me and The Replacement have proved very popular in that respect and I’m sure these two new dramas by Scottish companies will prove equally so in addition to the next Shetland series and of course River City.”

Elizabeth Kilgarriff, BBC senior commissioning editor for England and Scotland, says: “It is exciting to be able to showcase our ambition for BBC Scotland Drama with these two very different but equally brilliant shows.

“Original, distinctive and gripping, both The Victim and The Cry are beautifully written pieces with huge emotional heart and universal appeal. Gaynor Holmes and I are looking forward to working with Synchronicity Films and STV to bring them to the screen.”

The Cry and The Victim are part of BBC Scotland’s continued commitment to produce distinctive and reflective Scottish output, complementing productions filmed in Scotland including Trust Me (BBC One), Shetland (BBC One), Ordeal By Innocence (BBC One), Still Game (BBC One), Billy Connolly: Portrait of a Lifetime (BBC Two, BBC One Scotland), River City (BBC One Scotland), Two Doors Down(BBC Two) and The Proclaimers: This Is The Story (BBC Two Scotland).

Casting for The Cry and The Victim will be announced in the coming months.

The Cry

The Cry is the first television commission for Scottish-based production company, Synchronicity Films. Written by Jacquelin Perske, adapted from the novel by Helen FitzGerald, the four-part drama is a thrilling, psychological drama set in Scotland and Australia, that chronicles the collapse of a marriage in the aftermath of a tragedy, and explores the myths and truths of motherhood.

The abduction of a baby from a small coastal town in Australia is the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young woman – Joanna – as she and her husband, Alistair, deal with an unthinkable tragedy under both the white light of public scrutiny and in their private lives.

Claire Mundell, creative director of Synchronicity Films, says: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the BBC and the outstanding talent of our writer, Jacquelin Perske, to bring Helen FitzGerald’s compelling novel The Cry to the small screen in what will be an emotional rollercoaster of a story.”

The Cry is a 4×60’ drama written by Jacquelin Perske. The drama will be produced by Brian Kaczynski and executive produced by Claire Mundell for Synchronicity Films and Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Gaynor Holmes for BBC ONE. The Cry will be filmed in Scotland and Australia next year, and DRG hold the distribution rights.

The Victim

Made by STV Productions and written by Rob Williams, The Victim is a gripping, contemporary legal thriller told through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused. Set in Edinburgh, within Scotland’s unique legal system, the show offers a constantly surprising and twisting perspective on who is really ‘the victim’.

Carl, a hard working family man from Dundee, is the victim of a random, unprovoked attack, after being identified online as a notorious child murderer living under a new identity. With his life collapsing around him, should Carl keep his head down and pray for the smoke to clear – or try to prove his innocence? Is he simply the tragic victim of mistaken identity; or the dangerous killer he is suspected of being?

Anna is the mother of a teenage boy who was murdered twenty years ago by a then 14 year-old boy. Having campaigned to be told of the killer’s new identity and whereabouts, she is then accused of revealing his identity online and conspiring to have him murdered. Has the anger of a grieving mother turned her into a criminal too? What exactly is she guilty of – and what is she capable of doing in her son’s name?

Played out through the lens of one criminal trial, moral dilemmas will be thrown up and sides will be taken in these two very different quests for justice.

Sarah Brown, executive producer for STV Productions, says: “We are delighted to have the chance to bring Rob’s brilliant, thought provoking story to the screen for BBC One. It’s particularly exciting to be making a drama set and shot in Scotland, and to be able to tell a story which is both totally rooted in its setting, and yet utterly universal in its concerns.”

The Victim is a 4×60’ drama written by Rob Williams. Executive producers are Sarah Brown and Rob Williams for STV Productions, and Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Gaynor Holmes for BBC ONE. The drama will start filming in Scotland early next year.

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