ITV

The creators behind Flesh and Blood on the making of their hit drama

If screenwriter Sarah Williams has proven anything to herself about the art of television storytelling by creating ITV’s high profile Flesh and Blood, it’s the truth of the well-worn phrase: it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.

Four years ago, Williams began with a plan to write a character-based, family series focused on a group of troubled siblings. She came up with the concept following a conversation with Silverprint Pictures’ creative director, Kate Bartlett.

James Graham explores the story behind the Coughing Major in his new drama

James Graham

James Graham was an undergraduate at Hull University when he became fascinated by daily press reports of the trial of a respectable home counties couple accused of cheating their way to the top prize in ITV’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? At the time, Millionaire was one of the biggest shows on TV, achieving audiences of more than 8 million; at its peak, an incredible 19 million tuned into the programme.

RTS West of England audience welcomed to an exclusive screening of McDonald & Dodds

Credit: ITV

He was talking after an exclusive RTS West of England screening of the show in Bath at the end of February.

The series pairs Jason Watkins as the diffident Bath-born-and-bred DS Dodds and his ambitious boss, DCI McDonald, who has transferred from south London to further her career. She is played by Tala Gouveia.

“It was always going to be Bath. Cop shows are often set in stations. It was important for Dodds, as a different kind of cop, to be out in the field,” said Murphy, who wrote both feature-length episodes, which aired on ITV in March.

Spitting Image to return as BritBox UK’s first original commission

The first of two new series, starting in autumn this year, will be lampooning the likes of Boris Johnson, Harry & Meghan, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Co-creator Roger Law will head the creative team once again, having previously established the original series.

“The new Spitting Image will be global through a uniquely British eye, it will be more outrageous, audacious and salacious than the previous incarnation,” said Law.

New thriller Hollington Drive commissioned by ITV

(credit: ITV)

Hollington Drive will focus on the lives of two sisters, Theresa and her older sister Helen, who works as a head teacher.

The series opens on a warm summer evening where Theresa and her partner Fraser are hosting a barbeque. When their ten-year-old son Ben asks to go to a nearby park with his cousin Eva, the parents begin to argue over whether they should let the children go.

ITV commissions new thriller starring Vicky McClure

Set in contemporary London, the six-part series portrays the death-defying and life-saving work of the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Squad, also known as “Expo”.

A summer terrorist campaign wreaks havoc on the capital, and it’s up to Expo to defuse a series of improvised explosive devices.

Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) plays the experienced but reckless operative Lana Washington. As Lana begins to suspect her unit is the bomber’s true target, she sets out on a desperate search for proof and the bomber’s identity.

Flesh and Blood creators talk about the making of ITV's new drama

Left to right: Louise Hooper, Kate Bartlett, Sarah Williams and Emma Bullimore (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Sarah Williams, who had previously gained renown for adaptations and had never before written a TV thriller, was focused on the love/hate family dynamic before a conversation with Silverprint Pictures creative director Kate Bartlett who had asked her to come up with an idea for a joint project.

“At the start, I wanted to get to the heart of that thing you have with your family, where you’re full of love and support for them, but they can also wind you up and find your weak points,” Williams told an RTS Q&A session following an exclusive screening of the first episode.