Sherlock star Louise Brealey set to star in new BBC3 university thriller Clique

New show is a psychological drama about a disturbing group of “alpha” women at university - with Brealey's character at the top

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Sherlock star Louise Brealey is set to star in new BBC3 thriller Clique.

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Brealey, best known to Sherlock fans as pathologist Molly Hooper, will appear in the new university drama as Jude McDermid, a lecturer and unofficial leader of an “alpha” clique of young women.

Created by Skins writer Jess Brittain (Skins) the six-part series focuses on two best friends from childhood, Holly (Synnove Karlsen) and Georgia (The Fall actress Aisling Franciosi), who are drawn into an elite group of friends in their first few weeks at a fictional university in Scotland.

Brealey’s character is responsible for bringing this group of students together. The official synopsis says of her character: “Jude’s brand of feminism is alluring, just like the circle of bright students she surrounds herself with. Georgia’s effortless entry into the clique leaves Holly out in the cold. But Holly’s jealousy soon escalates to panic as Georgia begins acting erratically. Alarmed by this transformation in her best friend, Holly is compelled to follow her into Jude’s closely guarded circle.”

Rachel Hurd-Wood (Peter Pan; Tomorrow, When the War Began; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer), Sophia Brown, Ella Rae-Smith and Emma Appleton complete the ‘clique’, and they will be joined by Mark Strepan (New Blood), Sorcha Groundsell (Iona), Peter Bankole (The Physician), Chris Fulton (One of Us) and Harris Dickinson (The Medium, Home).

Creator Brittain said, “Clique is about the different ways ambition plays out in young women at university. It’s a heightened version of a certain type of uni experience, pulled from my time at uni, then ramped up a few notches into a psychological thriller. Clique goes to some pretty dark places. But returns, always, to the key female friendships of our central characters”.

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Filming has begun in Edinburgh this week for an expected transmission date early next year. Before that, Brealey will return as Molly Hooper in the fourth series of Sherlock, which is expected to begin its three-part run on BBC1 on New Year’s Day.