James Nesbitt has promised fans that his upcoming drama Bloodlands will please fans of Jed Mercurio.


The influential writer-director has become synonymous with quality television drama in recent years, as the creator of suspenseful thrillers Line of Duty and Bodyguard, among others.

He serves as executive producer on Nesbitt's latest project, which follows a police detective whose hunt for a legendary assassin is given new life when he finds fresh evidence connected to a deeply personal cold case.

Created by Chris Brandon, the series is set in Northern Ireland and explores the lasting impact of the Troubles through its characters and story.

"We’re seeing Belfast in a new context, we’re seeing a more contemporary city," Nesbitt explains. "It is a cat-and-mouse thriller but the fact that it has the legacy of the Troubles brings an added depth to it."

Although Bloodlands was not created by Mercurio, the show is consistent with his signature style according to Nesbitt, who promises intriguing mysteries along the way.

He continued: "It’s also a story about a father and daughter, and of loss, so there are real human stories attached to it. At its key it’s really about relationships, I think it’s something that audiences will invest in, invest in the characters.

"But also, it is a classic Jed Mercurio thriller, where you’re not really sure what’s going on, with many different stories interwoven into it.

"I think it will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. And they’ll get a chance to see Northern Ireland in its beauty. It will show Northern Ireland in a different light for people, on both sides of the water."

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Brandon describes Mercurio as having an "intimate" knowledge of Northern Ireland, as the location where Line of Duty has been filmed since series two, which aired in 2014.


Bloodlands is coming soon to BBC One. While you're waiting, check out our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.