In Plain Sight cast in full – who stars in the ITV drama and who they play

Everything you need to know about the cast and characters of ITV's serial killer drama.


Viewers are hooked on the ITV repeat of real-life drama In Plain Sight, with the broadcaster repeating the gripping thriller this week.


The nail-biting series (which first aired back in 2016) follows the true story of Lanarkshire-based detective William Muncie as he attempts to hunt down and catch Peter Manuel.

Manuel was a real serial killer active in the 1950s. He was later convicted for murdering seven people, and believed to have killed two more individuals.

The three-part miniseries is penned by Nick Stevens and set in Scotland, and stars Douglas Henshall as Muncie and Line of Duty‘s Martin Compston as “The Beast of Birkenshaw,” Peter Manuel.

Over the course of two years, Manuel taunted the police and narrowly avoided arrest while sending birthday and Christmas cards to Muncie, engaging in a psychological game of cat and mouse.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cast and real-life characters in In Plain Sight.

Douglas Henshall plays William Mune


Who is Detective William Muncie? Muncie is the moustached detective who’s trying to bring Manuel to justice. Muncie first arrested Manuel in 1946 for housebreaking and also successfully convicted him for a string of sexual assaults.

During his police career William Muncie had a remarkable record of 54 murder cases and 54 convictions.

Speaking about Muncie, Henshall said: “He was always cracking jokes. Despite all of the terrible things he must have seen during the day, he didn’t bring his work home with him. I’ve tried to bring a sense of that to the family scenes. There isn’t that much of an overspill from his work. I wanted to try and make him an identifiable human being. A decent, good man.”

Where have I seen Douglas Henshall before? He recently played Elliot in the series Home, but you’ll probably known him as either the ever-sombre Professor Nick Cutter in Primeval, or as Jimmy Perez in crime drama Shetland.

Martin Compston plays Peter Manuel


Who is Peter Manuel? Peter Manuel: The Beast of Birkenshaw and Scotland’s most infamous serial killer. This man took at least eight lives around Lanarkshire.

Speaking about Manuel, Compston said: “Pure evil. He really was. That’s the only way you can sum him up. There was nothing good about him. They call him the devil incarnate in Scotland. They did believe he had the devil in him.

“You always have to remember his victims were real people. This really happened. He really did these things. Manuel was an evil, evil man.”

Make sure you check out the true story of Peter Manuel.

Where have I seen Martin Compston before? You’ll most likely know him as Anti-Corruption Unit Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott in BBC One crime drama Line of Duty. However, you might also recognise him from his recent appearance in surrogacy thriller The Nest, or for roles as Liam in Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen and Ewan Brodie in Monarch of the Glen.

Joanne Thomson plays Iris Laird


Who is Iris Laird? Laird is the female police officer that helps Muncie on the trail of Manuel (she’s on the right in photo above).

Where have I seen Joanne Thomson before? This was her first major TV role, but she’s since gone on to play DS Lisa Harvey in the gripping drama The Victim.

Gilly Gilchrist plays Samuel Manuel


Who is Samuel Manuel? Samuel is Manuel’s dad – the one that provides alibis for his son.

Where have I seen Gilly Gilchrist before? He played Geordie Chisholm in the most recent season of Outlander, and is also known as Jacques from period romp Versailles. Gilchrist was also in the BBC serial killer drama Rillington Place, and played the Detective Chief Inspector in episode two.

Jenny Hulse plays Mary McLaughlin


Who is Mary McLaughlin? Mary is the woman Manuel attacks after she misses the last bus home from the dance hall.

Where have I seen Jenny Hulse before? She played Aine Macdonald in Outlaw/King opposite Florence Pugh, and is known for playing Amber Murdoch in the Glasgow soap River City.

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