Fantastic news today for fans of Tom Riley in Dark Heart. ITV confirms that it has commissioned a new series of 6 hour long episodes. The new series begins filming in Spring 2018, I assume after Tom's next role in Dry Powder at the Hampstead Theatre ends, the play closes on March 3rd 2018.
Dark Heart was initially made for ITV Encore, and the 120 minute stand alone episode was broadcast in November 2016. It has never been released on DVD or for digital download, but will be repeated next week on ITV Encore if you missed it. It will be interesting to find out how the existing episode will be incorporated into the series - possibly split it, and broadcast as the first 2 episodes in the new series?
ITV has commissioned drama label Silverprint Pictures to produce six-part drama series Dark Heart starring Tom Riley as DI Will Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the murder of his parents when he was 16 years old.
Set in London, the series is written for ITV by acclaimed screenwriter Chris Lang whose work includes award-winning drama Unforgotten, Torn, Undeniable and A Mother’s Son. Dark Heart is inspired by characters created by novelist Adam Creed, who has written a series of books featuring Will Wagstaffe.
The 6 x 60 series is the first commission for Kate Bartlett’s new drama label, Silverprint Pictures, formerly ITV Studios Drama London, who are the team responsible for ITV’s multi-award winning drama Vera starring Brenda Blethyn and Kenny Doughty which returns to the channel for an eighth series in January.
Filming will begin on Dark Heart early Spring 2018 with Chris Lang writing the first two part story, Ben Harris (Marcella, The Musketeers) writing the second two part story with Chris writing episodes five and six.
The series has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill. Commented Polly Hill: “We’re thrilled Tom Riley has agreed to return as Will Wagstaffe in Dark Heart. As the central character, he has immersed himself in police work to seek some form of closure for what has happened in his past. It’s a gritty, emotionally driven thriller from Chris Lang which I’m only too pleased to recommission from Kate Bartlett’s new drama label.”
Whilst devoting his life to his work, Will Wagstaffe, also known as Staffe to his colleagues, battles personal demons. He’s haunted by the unresolved murder of his parents, which affects both his private and professional life including his on-off romance with sometimes girlfriend, Sylvie, played by Miranda Raison. His closest relationship is with his sister Juliette, played by Charlotte Riley, and young nephew Harry, who stays with him when Juliette has troubles with her boyfriend. With no parents and no significant partner of his own, Juliette and Harry mean everything to Staffe. Determined and tenacious, Wagstaffe is an exceptionally good police officer, in spite of the fact he’s been known for pushing the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable policing.
The drama will once again be executive produced by Chris Lang, Kate Bartlett (Vera, Shetland) and Michael Dawson (Vera, Holby City). The producer is Letitia Knight (Vera) and the director is Colin Teague (Jekyll & Hyde, Da Vinci’s Demons).
Commented Kate Bartlett: “Wagstaffe is an uncompromising, contemporary drama which perfectly complements the Silverprint Pictures drama slate. Chris Lang has written truly compelling and atmospheric scripts and we’re delighted that Tom Riley is playing Will Wagstaffe.” ITV Studios Global Entertainment will distribute Dark Heart internationally.