EXCLUSIVE: Country Writer and executive producer Patrick Harbinson to adapt Kate London’s Metropolitan Police novel Post mortem into a three-part ITV series, which will be hosted at the new UK production company Harbinson and Mammoth Screen.
The drama will be titled Tower, a nod to the novel’s gripping opening sequence in which a veteran defeats a cop and a teenage girl fall to death from a building in south-east London, leaving a five-year-old boy and police officer rookie Lizzie Griffiths on the roof, only for them to disappear.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins is enlisted to investigate, striving to find Lizzie before she suffers serious harm, but also to uncover the truth behind the towers’ grisly deaths. Collins and Griffiths later become the central characters in three books written by the former London Met officer.
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Tower will be produced by new Harbinson production group Windhover Films and Mammoth Screen, the ITV Studios-owned producer behind the BBC / Netflix series The snake and Poldark. It is produced in association with ITV Studios, which distributes internationally.
Harbinson, whose credits also include 24 and ER, said: “After six years CountryI wanted to go back to my roots and write something firmly based in the UK. As soon as I read Kate London’s beautifully written novels, I knew they were. They are authentic, funny, packed with quirky characters and tell intense and stimulating stories.
The long time Country executive producer previously collaborated with Mammoth on the ITV series Intrepid, who played Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory. Mammoth founder and CEO Damien Timmer said it was a “privilege” to work with the writer again.
Towers the executive producers are Harbinson and Timmer. Paul Testar (The snake) produces, while Sherie Myers (I can destroy you) is a co-producer and Jim Loach (Save me too) is the director. ITV drama boss Polly Hill commissioned the series.
London said: “The police showed me London in a way that no other job could. The product of this experience was my first novel, Post mortem. After a fierce bidding war, I chose Patrick Harbinson to bring the book to the screen. I was convinced not only by his exceptional track record, but also by his passionate engagement with the characters and the choices they face.
Mammoth is one of the busiest script producers in the UK. His Netflix / BBC series The snake racked up 31 million streams for iPlayer last month, while the second season of McDonald and Dodds launched on ITV in February with 6.4 million viewers.
The company is currently working with Call me by your name Helmer Luca Guadagnino to adapt the classic Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead revisited. The BBC is on board, while HBO is the frontrunner to co-produce the project in the U.S. We also revealed earlier this month that Mammoth opted for the Sudhir Hazareesingh biography. Black Spartacus: The epic life of Toussaint Louverture.
The televised deal for the London novels was negotiated by Luke Speed on behalf of Alice Lutyens of the Curtis Brown Group.