Ridley — Adrian Dunbar’s new detective show begins filming

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The actor has swapped Ted Hasting’s uniform for a consultancy role. 

ITV have announced that Adrian Dunbar, best known as Line of Duty‘s plain speaking AC12 chief, has starting filming his new show. Ridley follows the story of a retired detective who resumes his partnership with a former protégée to solve cases.

Here’s the blurb:

“The series will introduce us to charismatic Detective Inspector Alex Ridley, who is retiring from the police after years of dedicated service. Ridley’s replacement is DI Carol Farman, his former protégée whom Ridley mentored for many years.

When he’s enlisted by Carol as a police consultant on a complex and compelling murder case, the investigation takes a dark and unexpected turn. Turning to her old mentor for support, Carol is keen to access Ridley’s unique insight into crime-solving which has served them so well in the past. With more intriguing cases to solve, Ridley will revive his formidable and successful partnership with Carol.”

Inspired by real life retired detectives re-joining police forces in a consultancy role given increasingly over-stretched resources, Ridley will explore thought provoking crime stories in an original and distinctive way.

The cast of Ridley

Swapping the delights of Line of Duty‘s fictional East Midlands Constabulary for Lancashire, Adrian Dunbar is joined by Bronagh Waugh (Unforgotten, The Fall) as DI Carol Farman.

The wider cast includes Terence Maynard (Time), George Bukhari (Years and Years, The A Word), Georgie Glen (The Crown), Bhavna Limbachia (Citizen Khan), Aidan McArdle (The Trial of Christine Keeler) and Julie Graham (Shetland).

As filming commenced, Adrian Dunbar said:

“Ridley has begun shooting and we really couldn’t be off to a better start. Despite the wintry weather, everything from cast and crew right down to the catering is excellent. Bronagh Waugh has stepped into her character’s shoes seamlessly and we have been joined by some great actors with more to come.”

The series will comprise four two-hour films, directed by Bryn Higgins, Noreen Kershaw and Paul Gay. Ridley has been co-created by Paul Matthew Thompson (Vera, Shakespeare and Hathaway) and Jonathan Fisher (Blood) of West Road Pictures, who will both executive produce with Ingrid Goodwin. Thompson has penned three out of four episodes, with Julia Gilbert (Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders) writing the other.  Juliet Charlesworth (Happy Valley) is the producer.

ITV loves a good long-form detective series, and Ridley sounds perfect to occupy that Morse / Lewis / Vera slot. Certainly, it’s another spin on the reluctant detective format and Dunbar has the requisite charisma in spades. However, they’ll be going some to outshine Ted’s iconic turn of phrase.

Naturally, CultBox will let you know when we hear more. In the meantime, all together now… “Mother of God!”