Eagle-eyed viewers – and, for detective dramas, we should assume that’s the majority – may have noticed a small detail in an early episode of the long-running ITV series Midsomer Murders. “You’ll see one of the characters reading a book called Magpie Murders. At that point, I hadn’t written it, but I got the book made up into a prop anyway,” Anthony Horowitz, writer of both, told the RTS.
Set in the Special Investigations Unit of the London Met in the not-too-distant future, the series follows Mays’ AI-enhanced “supercop” DI John Major and his ever-patient partner DI Roy Carver (Graham) as they attempt to solve crime cases, with Maxwell Martin starring as Major’s widow Kelly.
Having cracked The Juggler case, Major firmly established himself as the top cop in the Special Investigation Unit, but upon his return he realised that his wife Kelly (Anna Maxwell Martin) had been cheating on him with Carver.
In the upcoming series, however, the reopening of a 20-year-old investigation forces the pair to reunite.
Between the case, his divorce and the reappearance of his long-absent father, Major has a lot on his plate and soon starts glitching. But this time a standard reboot might not be enough to save him.
Code 404 follows two top crime-fighting detectives, DI John Major (Mays) and DI Roy Carver (Graham).
An undercover sting goes horribly wrong when John is shot and killed, so Roy, plagued with guilt and regret towards his colleague’s death, seeks solace from the only person who understands him. This person just happens to be John’s recently widowed wife Kelly, played by Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland).
The drama is based on the book Killing for Company by Brian Masters and will follow the arrest and trial of Nielsen – also known as the 'Muswell Hill Murderer' – in one of the most infamous cases in UK criminal history.
Written by Luke Neal and developed by Neal and Lewis Arnold, the drama will be told through the prism of three men, Nielsen, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay (Daniel Mays, Line of Duty) and biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins, The Crown).
Daniel Mays will take the role of journalist Peter Wildeblood, in the dramatisation of the real-life story. Wildeblood's partner Eddie McNally (Richard Gadd) comes under pressure from the authorities to turn on him, in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s; the Montagu Trial.
With his career in disarray and private life exposed, Wildeblood began his jail sentence as a broken man, but emerged a year later determined to change the way the laws against homosexuality impacted on the lives of men just like him.
Olivier Award winner Rory Kinnear (Spectre, Penny Dreadful), Daniel Mays (Line of Duty) and Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat) have all been announced to be joining Golden Globe winner Idris Elba in the thriller.
The six-part series will air on Sky Atlantic next year, and Elba will co-star and executive produce the series through his company Green Door Pictures.
Set in the 1990s, Babs sees Windsor preparing to perform in the theatre that evening, where she talks us on a journey of the events and people that shaped her career, from her lonely childhood and complicated relationship with her father, to capturing the attention of Joan Littlewood and being cast in the Carry On films.