ITV and ITVX have commissioned the thriller series “Out There,” starring Martin Clunes and Louis Ashbourne Serkis. The show is written by Ed Whitmore and Marc Evans, and produced by Buffalo Pictures.
The narrative revolves around county lines drug dealing, as well as a growing and insidious wave of crime infiltrating the British countryside. Martin Clunes portrays a farmer who confronts these dark forces encroaching upon his rural community.
The drama vividly portrays the clandestine incursion into the farmer’s cherished land, resulting in devastating consequences for his livelihood, home, and family life. The threat arises from local county lines drug dealers, essentially urban gangs that exploit the British countryside as a base of operations, shuttling drugs and money between their inner-city hubs and provincial areas.
Commented Martin Clunes; “I’m very happy to be working with Marc Evans and Ed Whitmore again after the success of Manhunt. Out There couldn’t be more different from Doc Martin. It’s pretty dark, but definitely a story worth telling.”
ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill has commissioned the series which will premiere on ITV1 and be available to stream on ITVX.
Commented Polly Hill; “Out There is a brilliantly compelling drama, from the team behind Manhunt, where county lines become very real for a father and son already dealing with the modern challenges of running a farm. Martin Clunes is wonderful as Nathan, in a drama full of surprises, as he tries to navigate the best way to save his son, in a world he doesn’t understand.”
The series is penned by screenwriter Ed Whitmore (known for works like “Steeltown Murders,” “Grace,” “Manhunt,” “Silent Witness,” and “Safe House”) and directed by Marc Evans (known for works like “Steeltown Murders,” “Manhunt,” “The Pembrokeshire Murders,” and “Grav”). It is produced by Buffalo Pictures (“Manhunt,” “Doc Martin,” “Arthur & George”). The series is set amidst the picturesque Welsh countryside, with filming currently in progress.
Commented Writer and Executive Producer Ed Whitmore; “County lines is a particularly vicious and ruthless wave of drug dealing that uses fear and violence to coerce, often vulnerable, young people into working as runners and dealers. It has become a serious and rapidly increasing problem across the whole of the UK, so it felt like an important and timely story to tell.”
Ed continued; “I’ve always been fascinated by the notion of things being hidden in plain sight and the way in which different social worlds can co-exist cheek-by-jowl until, one day, they collide. The fundamental premise of Out There – a widowed farmer who discovers that his son has fallen foul of county lines – immediately spoke to me as a story I wanted to tell.”
Welsh born director Marc Evans commented; “We are thrilled to have the support of Creative Wales to produce Out There in my in my home country. We are able to explore beautiful and rarely seen areas around the Black Mountains and to use local talent for our cast and crew.”
Martin Clunes takes on the role of Nathan Williams, a man who oversees a farm that has been in his family for generations. He finds himself caught in a numbing routine of work and grief after the loss of his wife, Sabine, two years prior. As a single parent to teenager Johnny (played by Louis Ashbourne Serkis), Nathan is uniquely positioned to confront the gangs threatening his son.
Consequently, he embarks on a personal journey that takes him further out of his comfort zone, into a dark alternative world as he fights to protect his family, his home, and his legacy. He realises that the idyllic countryside of his youth has vanished, replaced by something more edgy and perilous. The only way for Nathan, the hero, to survive in this new world is to learn the rules and fight back.
“Out There” is produced by Philippa Braithwaite and Evie Bergson-Korn, and directed by Marc Evans with Philippa Langdale taking charge of the final two episodes. Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama, oversees the production from the channel’s perspective. The drama is executive produced by Ed Whitmore and Marc Evans.
Acclaimed screenwriter Ed Whitmore is renowned for his successful writing career, including his work on “Silent Witness” and “Waking The Dead,” as well as previous collaborations with Martin Clunes and Marc Evans. Ed wrote series one and two of the BAFTA-nominated drama “Manhunt,” which also earned Marc Evans a BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Director.
Among the actors featured in “Out There” are Mark Lewis Jones as Caleb Williams, Natalia Kostrzewa as Eva, Carly-Sophia Davies as Sadie, and Gerran Howell as Rhys.
Filming has begun in Wales, and the drama is produced in association with Creative Wales.
Deputy Director of Creative Wales, Gerwyn Evans said; “We are so pleased to be supporting the production of Out There which tells a very contemporary and gripping story of rural communities being affected by organised crime. While telling a dark and harrowing tale, Out There also showcases some of our stunning countryside, and is yet another example of first-class drama being made in Wales.
“Creative Wales is focused on ensuring that our TV and film industry has a sustainable, ethical future that gives back to the economy and people of Wales. Productions like Out There which provide jobs, significant spending in our economy and trainee placements that help to build our long-term supply of talent, are absolutely crucial in helping us to meet this ambition.”