The Woman in the Wall's Lorna Brady is a very different kettle of fish to Luther's Alice Morgan, both of whom are played by Ruth Wilson, but you might have detected a hint of the latter in the opening episode of the new BBC thriller.



During a bout of sleepwalking, an unnerving grin spreads across her face as she admires the lighter's flame while standing in front of Father Percy's green Triumph. She then chucks the ignitor inside the vehicle and watches the fire spread, again unable to contain her maniacal glee.

In that moment, when Lorna isn't aware of herself or her actions, there are undoubtedly shades of Alice present, and the psychopath herself would certainly approve of impeding a police investigation to muddy the waters.

Wilson exclusively acknowledged to that while the two women are "very different", she brings "an energy and element" of herself to every role, which explains why people possibly "see threads" between differing personalities.

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"Every character is formed by research, empathy and technique, and parts of you infiltrate into the mix," she added. "It's always two things, the character you're creating and you."

Daryl McCormack, who plays Detective Colman Akande in The Woman in the Wall, said: "I find I collide with the all characters I'm playing. It's very hard to play a character without bringing in a lot of myself."

Daryl McCormack and Ruth Wilson star in The Woman in the Wall
Daryl McCormack and Ruth Wilson star in The Woman in the Wall. BBC/Showtime

Wilson's character, while fictional, is based on the thousands of pregnant, "promiscuous", unmarried and abused women who were sent to live and work in Ireland's harrowing Magdalene Laundries.

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"I had this idea about 10 years ago," said Murtagh of the series. "I was at film school and I saw The Magdalene Sisters, and I knew nothing about the laundries [at that time]. That was my introduction... and I was just absolutely horrified.

"I had this really uneasy feeling throughout watching it, has this actually happened to people? And then reading into like Jesus Christ, yes it has, all the way up to 1996 when the last laundry closed, and 1998 when the last mother and baby home closed.

"It was an eye-opening experience realising how this horrific thing had happened. But the thing that was more horrifying was realising that I hadn't known about this, and every single person that I mentioned this to had never heard of this, and that's still true today outside of Ireland."

The Woman in the Wall premieres on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 27th August 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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