Normally seen marvelling at Benedict Cumberbatch’s super sleuth skills in Sherlock, Martin Freeman is set to become the lead detective in a new ITV drama.
Called A Confession, the six-part series tells the true story of Steve Fulcher, a Detective Superintendent who deliberately breached police procedure to catch a killer.
Set in Swindon, A Confession will dramatise the real-life case of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, who disappeared in 2011.
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As Senior Investigating Officer, Fulcher (played by Freeman) comes into contact with Sian’s mother Elaine (played by Downton Abbey’s Siobhan Finneran) and becomes convinced the missing girl is still alive.
The case soon involves Karen Edwards (played by Imelda Staunton) a mother whose daughter Becky also disappeared years before. The two disappearances become connected, leading police to local taxi driver Christopher Halliwell (Doc Martin’s Joe Absolom). However, in trying to rescue both girls, Fulcher breaks numerous protocols when interviewing Halliwell.
A Confession will be written by Jeff Pope, writer of Little Boy Blue and the Oscar-nominated Philomena.
“I found this is a fascinating story to tell on a number of levels,” he said. “On one hand it is a brilliant piece of detective work, but in order to find both girls Fulcher felt he had to deny Halliwell his rights as a suspect.
“It brings into question how we want our police to behave when someone goes missing. Should Fulcher have been praised as a courageous officer fighting for the life of a girl, or lose his career for riding roughshod over the law?”
A Confession will be filmed in Wiltshire and the Home Counties, with Broadchurch’s Paul Andrew Williams directing each of the six episodes.