Channel 4’s Red Riding looks promising

Red Riding

Channel 4’s forthcoming series of films, Red Riding, about policing in Yorkshire in the 70s and 80s, looks very promising – check out the teaser site – and here’s the press release to explain why. Seriously, just look at the cast list, the directors and the source material:

Andrew Garfield returns to Channel 4 following his Bafta-winning performance in Boy A, joining an ensemble cast of celebrated actors in Red Riding, an ambitious, dark, and thrilling trilogy of interlinking films adapted by Tony Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) from David Peace’s cult noir novels.

The crime trilogy boasts an all-star cast including; Mark Addy (The Full Monty), Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings), Jim Carter (Cranford), Warren Clarke (Dalziel & Pascoe), Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People), John Henshaw (Early Doors), Gerard Kearns (Shameless), Eddie Marsan (Vera Drake), David Morrissey (The Deal), Daniel Mays (White Girl), Peter Mullan (Boy A), Maxine Peake (Shameless), Saskia Reeves (The Fixer) and Lesley Sharp (Afterlife).

The three x 120 minute films, airing as part of C4’s winter 2009 schedule, are set in Yorkshire in the 1970s and 80s. Produced by Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton’s production company, Revolution Films, each film in the trilogy will be directed by a separate big name director: Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited), James Marsh (Man on Wire) and Anand Tucker (And When Did You Last See Your Father?).

1974, Yorkshire – a time of paranoia, mistrust and institutionalised police corruption. Rookie journalist Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield) is determined to search for the truth in an increasingly complex maze of lies and deceit that characterises a police investigation into a series of child abductions.

In the second episode, directed by Marsh and set in 1980, The “Ripper” has tyrannised Yorkshire for six long years, and with the local police failing to make any progress, the Home Office sends in Manchester officer Peter Hunter (Considine) to review the investigation. Having previously made enemies in the Yorkshire force while investigating a shooting incident in 1974, Hunter finds himself increasingly isolated when his version of events challenges their official line on the “Ripper”.

In the final instalment, directed by Tucker and set in 1983, another young girl has disappeared and Detective Chief Superintendent Maurice Jobson (Morrissey) recognises some alarming similarities to the abductions in 1974, forcing him to come to terms with the fact that he may have helped convict the wrong man. When local solicitor John Piggott (Addy) is persuaded to fight this miscarriage of justice he finds himself slowly uncovering a catalogue of cover ups.

Head of Channel 4 Drama, Liza Marshall said: “I am thrilled to be able to bring a project with such outstanding acting, writing and directing talent to Channel 4. The three films are bold and ambitious and together will form an epic television event.”

Red Riding has resulted from Channel 4’s first look deal with Revolution Films (The Road to Guantanamo). Red Riding is written by Tony Grisoni; produced by Anita Overland and Wendy Brazington; and executive produced by Andrew Eaton.

Unbelievably, as is always the way with these things, I was already doing something when I was offered the chance to meet Sean Bean and co at the press launch last week. Which was a bit sucky. Instead, you’ll have to get some edited highlights of it from Graham. It’s worth checking with the reader comments at the end, since it might turn out to be a quite frustrating series – or brilliant – if you share the same tastes with them.

Here’s a trailer for it. Anyone read the books?

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