Christopher Eccleston drama Safe House to be re-written with a new cast and location

Former Doctor Who star will no longer be in the detective drama that has been “stood down” for “confidential” reasons, say ITV sources

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ITV has re-cast and re-written the second series of its Christopher Eccleston drama Safe House and moved it to a new location.

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The former Doctor Who star, who is understood to have begun pre-production work on the new series, will no longer be in the drama for reasons which ITV sources say are “confidential”.

Work is understood to have got under way for the second run of the show which is now being “stood down” adds the source.

The production is now moving from the Lake District to Wales, added the ITV insider, with new scripts now being written for a new lead cast for series two.

The ITV thriller first aired in April last year and saw Eccleston play a former policeman called Robert who was protecting a vulnerable family from a serial killer in his Lake District guest house. It was a success, averaging more than 6m viewers for each episode.

Earlier this year, ITV announced a second series including the return of stars Eccleston and co-stars Marsha Thomason and Paterson Joseph.

Thomason played his wife Katy, and Joseph played DCI Mark Maxwell. It is understood that neither Thomason nor Joseph will be in series two.

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The delay means that the new series is now unlikely to air until next year.

ITV refused to confirm the circumstances surrounding the rewrite or explain why the previous series had been stood down.

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A spokeswoman for ITV said: “Due to circumstances which led to filming being delayed, the second series is now being filmed with new lead characters and features a new Safe House.”