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ITV commissions Bletchley Park drama - with a twist

Posted on April 23, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Bletchley Circle is about ladies:

Four ordinary women with an extraordinary flair for code-breaking and razor-sharp intelligence skills are the focus of ITV’s new murder mystery drama, The Bletchley Circle.

Twice BAFTA award-winner, Anna Maxwell Martin (South Riding, Bleak House) will star as Susan, Rachael Stirling (Women in Love, Boy Meets Girl) is Millie, RADA graduate Sophie Rundle plays Lucy and Julie Graham (Lapland, Doc Martin) is Jean.

Three x 60 minute episodes have been commissioned from World Productions (United, Line of Duty) based on the lives of four fictional women whose brilliant work at top security HQ Bletchley Park during World War II helped break codes used by the German military.

Set in 1951, Susan, Millie, Lucy and Jean have returned to their normal lives modestly setting aside the part they played in producing crucial intelligence which helped the Allies to victory and shortened the war.

Behind Susan’s conventional exterior as a 1950’s housewife and mother, there’s a steely determination you under-estimate at your peril.

Seemingly unadventurous and conservative on the surface, our unlikely heroine is a force to be reckoned with. She just hasn’t done anything about it for the last 8 years!

Until now that is…..and the unresolved murders of Jane Hart and Patricia Oakes. With her handwritten charts of numbers, dates and times, and stretched lines of wool connecting pins to clips, Susan has spotted a pattern of behaviour no-one else has…..

Susan goes to the police only to be met with utter scepticism by the desk sergeant.

Unaware of her Bletchley background, the police refuse to take Susan’s theory seriously. She quickly realises she can only begin to crack the murders and bring the culprit to justice with the help of her former friends.

Bohemian Millie, speaker of fourteen languages and with a streetwise approach to life, Lucy whose youthful, naïve exterior masks a brilliant memory for data recall and Jean, the methodical no-nonsense organiser with valuable access to key records and documents.   

Produced by Jake Lushington (The Devil’s Whore, Mysterious Creatures), The Bletchley Circle is a taut thriller created and written by Guy Burt (Kingdom, The Borgias). Simon Heath (Hancock and Joan, Party Animals) is the Executive Producer.

“The Bletchley Circle is about what might have been,” said Jake. Despite the era they have come through, women like Susan and Millie have the capacity, the ideas and the ability to process evidence and crack a murder case. In many ways it is a form of police profiling which was way ahead of it’s time,” he added.

The Bletchley Circle has been commissioned for ITV by Drama Commissioning team, Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes.

“The Bletchley Circle combines a vivid portrait of post-war Britain with a taut and original thriller.” said Laura. “I’m delighted that we’ve attracted such a strong cast to bring it to life”

The Bletchley Circle will be filmed on location in London from the end of April 2012. The drama will be directed by Andy De Emmony (Cutting It, Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!).

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