Incoming Midsomer Murders producer Jo Wright has spoken to radiotimes.com about her plans for the show, stating that it should “continue to develop and evolve as a drama”.
Wright, whose previous credits include a modern retelling of Othello starring Eamonn Walker and the BBC1 crime drama 55 Degrees North, also said:
“I strongly believe that Midsomer Murders should represent its audience and, alongside some of the core characters already in Midsomer, we have the opportunity to introduce a range of characters from different backgrounds within the films in the next series.”
Her remarks come almost a year after the race row sparked by then producer Brian True-May, who commented to Radio Times that the series “wouldn’t work” if ethnic minorities appeared on screen and that the hit ITV1 drama was “the last bastion of Englishness”.
True-May stood down from his role at the end of the last run of episodes and – as reported on this site yesterday – Wright’s debut as producer sees evidence of a rethink on casting policy.
The episode The Dark Rider (Wednesday 1 February, ITV1) is notable for the fact that Hong Kong-born actress Natalie Mendoza features prominently among the suspects. Is 21st-century Britain at last being recognised on the programme?
“Great storytelling will continue to be at the heart of Midsomer Murders,” said Wright. “I will cast the series in the same way as I always do – by starting with the best script, and a good script will include a variety of different characters.”