EXCLUSIVE: Homeland writer and executive producer Patrick Harbinson is to adapt Kate London’s Metropolitan Police novel Post Mortem into a three-part ITV series, which will be housed at Harbinson’s new UK-based production firm and Mammoth Screen.
The drama will be titled The Tower, in a nod to the novel’s thrilling opening sequence in which a veteran beat cop and teenage girl fall to their deaths from a tower block in south-east London, leaving a five-year-old boy and rookie police officer Lizzie Griffiths on the roof, only for them to go missing.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins is drafted in to investigate, working to find Lizzie before she comes to serious harm, but also to uncover the truth behind the grisly tower block deaths. Collins and Griffiths later become the central characters in three books written by former Met officer London.
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The Tower will be produced by Harbinson’s new production outfit Windhover Films and Mammoth Screen, the ITV Studios-owned producer behind BBC/Netflix series The Serpent and Poldark. It is made in association with ITV Studios, which distributes internationally.
Harbinson, whose credits also include 24 and ER, said: “After six years on Homeland, I wanted to get back to my roots and write something firmly based in the UK. As soon as I read Kate London’s beautifully written novels I knew they were it. They are authentic, funny, crammed with original characters, and they tell intense and challenging stories.”
The longtime Homeland executive producer previously collaborated with Mammoth on ITV series Fearless, which starred Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory. Mammoth’s founder and CEO Damien Timmer said it was a “privilege” to be working with the writer again.
The Tower’s executive producers are Harbinson and Timmer. Paul Testar (The Serpent) produces, while Sherie Myers (I May Destroy You) is co-producer and Jim Loach (Save Me Too) is the director. ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill commissioned the series.
London said: “Policing showed me London in a way no other job could. The product of this experience was my first novel, Post Mortem. After a fierce bidding war, I chose Patrick Harbinson to bring the book to screen. I was persuaded not only by his outstanding track record, but by his passionate engagement with the characters and the choices they face.”
Mammoth is one of the UK’s busiest scripted producers. Its Netflix/BBC series The Serpent racked up 31 million streams for iPlayer as of last month, while the second season of McDonald & Dodds launched on ITV in February with 6.4M viewers.
The company is currently working with Call Me By Your Name helmer Luca Guadagnino to adapt Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited. The BBC is on board, while HBO is the favorite to co-produce the project in the U.S. We also revealed earlier this month that Mammoth has optioned Sudhir Hazareesingh’s biography Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture.
The TV deal for London’s novels was brokered by Luke Speed on behalf of Alice Lutyens of Curtis Brown Group.