Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire star Kelly Macdonald is to star in a new Edinburgh-set TV thriller about a mother accused of revealing the identity of her son’s killer and conspiring to have him murdered.
John Hannah, who shot to fame in Four Weddings and a Funeral, will play a haunted detective investigating an unprovoked attack on a family man who IS branded a notorious child murderer online in The Victim.
Said to be “played out through the lens” of a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, writer Rob Williams’ four-part legal drama is expected to throw up a series of moral dilemmas and a “constantly surprising and twisting perspective on who is really the victim”.
Macdonald, who got her first screen role in Trainspotting, went on to star in State of Play and films like Gosford Park, No Country For Old Men, and Brave.
In The Victim, which will be screened across the UK on BBC One, she will playing Anna Dean, the Edinburgh-based mother of a nine-year-old boy who was murdered 15 years previously by a 13-year-old boy. Her character has been leading a campaign for his murderer to be named and identified.
Rising Scots star James Harkness, whose previous roles include Star Wars epic Rogue One and the recent big-screen version of Macbeth, will be playing Craig Myers, a man living in Greenock with his family – viewers will be kept in the dark about whether is a victim of mistaken identity, or a dangerous killer.
STV Productions are making the series for the BBC on location across Scotland. It opens on the first day of the High Court trial and will also flash back over the events of the previous five months.
Elizabeth Kilgarriff, the BBC’s senior commissioning editor for England and Scotland, said: “Bold, original and constantly surprising, The Victim showcases perfectly our ambition for Scottish drama.
“Set in Edinburgh and Greenock, against the backdrop of the Scottish legal system, Rob’s brilliant scripts will be brought to life by an extraordinary cast that features the wonderful Kelly Macdonald and John Hannah, whilst introducing James Harkness and other exciting rising Scottish stars to the BBC One audience.”
Hannah, who played Rebus in the original TV series, said: “It is great to be back filming in Scotland especially as Rob has delivered an exquisitely-drawn character. On first appearance he seems pretty straightforward but I’m pleased to report that audiences will soon find out this is far from the case”.
Harkness said: “The character of Craig gives me a fantastic opportunity to play someone faced with incredible circumstances. Rob’s writing takes Craig to lots of different places in his life. I feel very lucky to be telling this story.”
Williams said: “It’s incredibly exciting for me to see the story being brought to life by such a talented cast and crew. I’m really grateful and fortunate to be working with people who care about the material as much as I do.”