ITV has given the green light to the thriller series “Protection,” featuring Siobhan Finneran, Nadine Marshall, and Katherine Kelly. The show is produced by the acclaimed New Pictures, known for their award-winning productions like “Des,” “The Missing,” and “The Long Shadow.” It’s written by esteemed screenwriter Kris Mrksa.

Head of Drama at ITV, Polly Hill, has commissioned this gripping series, which will star Siobhan Finneran in the lead role. The show will premiere on ITV1 and will also be available for streaming on ITVX.

Nadine Marshall and Katherine Kelly, both accomplished actors in their own right, will also play significant roles in the six-part series. The production is being done in association with All3Media International.

The story of “Protection” delves into the shadowy world of witness protection, a far cry from its glamorous portrayal. In reality, many protected individuals have their own criminal backgrounds, leading to a life fraught with moral dilemmas. The process involves strict secrecy, false identities, and a constant lack of trust, even within one’s own team.

The narrative draws from the firsthand experiences of a veteran witness protection officer. It revolves around Detective Inspector Liz Nyles, portrayed by Siobhan Finneran. Liz finds herself in the midst of a breach, compromised by a romantic entanglement with a colleague. Despite this, she is resolute in her pursuit of justice, determined to uncover corruption within her unit, and safeguard her witnesses, even when their pasts are less than virtuous.

As Liz navigates this morally ambiguous world, her quest for truth takes her deeper into the criminal underworld. Balancing her familial responsibilities, loyalty to her lover, and duty as a police officer becomes increasingly challenging. The series unfolds the story of a capable but outmatched cop in a world where appearances are deceiving.

Kris Mrksa crafts a narrative that captivates from the outset, introducing suspenseful twists and turns that keep the audience guessing about who to trust.

Commented Kris Mrksa; “Protection is a suspenseful conspiracy thriller, but it also explores some complex moral questions, about how far we should be prepared to go in order to serve the greater good. The murky world of witness protection, where hardened criminals are often sheltered, in the hope that they will help bring down other criminals, provides the perfect context for examining these thorny issues. I’m incredibly excited to be working with the team at New Pictures again, in bringing this complex world to life.”

Protection is based on an idea by a witness protection specialist who served in the Met for 30 years. During his time in witness protection, he looked after a number of high-profile cases and informants, including, war criminals, terrorists and criminals of all kinds.

New Pictures Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Willow Grylls (Des, The Missing, The Long Shadow) and Charlie Hampton (The Spanish Princess, The Deceived) will executive produce Protection alongside Elaine Pyke and Kris Mrksa. The series will be produced by Rebecca Davies (Cobra) and line produced by Tracy Chapman (Cobra).

ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill will oversee production on behalf of the broadcaster.

Commented Polly Hill; “The clandestine world of witness protection creates a thrilling backdrop for this intriguing crime thriller written brilliantly by Kris Mrska. We’ve attracted an amazing cast including Siobhan Finneran, Nadine Marshall and Katherine Kelly and I’m delighted to commission the series from Willow Grylls and her team at New Pictures.”

Commented Willow Grylls and Charlie Hampton; “Kris Mrksa has created an exciting and compulsive thriller that takes us into the often-hidden world of witness protection with some incredible female characters at its heart, led by the brilliant Siobhan Finneran, Nadine Marshall and Katherine Kelly.”

“Protection” will be helmed by directors Simen Alsvik and Sasha Ransome. The writing team includes Kris Mrksa (Episodes 1, 3, and 6), Polly Buckle (Episodes 2 and 4), and Giula Sandler (Episode 5).

Filming has begun in Liverpool, and the series is slated to air on ITV and ITVX next year. All3Media International holds exclusive worldwide distribution rights for the series.