ITV orders supernatural crime drama ‘Midwinter of the Spirit’

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ITV has commissioned a new crime drama “with a supernatural twist” for ITV Encore.

Based on Phil Rickman’s books, Midwinter of the Spirit will follow country vicar Merrily Watkins.

The three-part drama will be adapted by screenwriter Stephen Volk (Afterlife, The Awakening, Ghostwatch) and produced by Phil Collinson (Doctor Who).

The official synopsis reads: “Merrily Watkins isn’t your average country vicar. Her newly acquired training has put her on the dark side of the pulpit.  She’s become one of the few women priests working as an exorcist – a job increasingly mistrusted by the modern Church and rarely talked about, even though it operates in virtually every diocese in the UK. Merrily is deeply human in her doubts and scepticism, but her knowledge of the paranormal underworld brings her to the notice of local police who need her advice in the investigation of a grisly murder.”

Executive producer Kieran Roberts (The Trials of Jimmy Rose) commented: “We’re very excited to be working with Stephen Volk to bring Phil Rickman’s gripping and chilling novel to the screen. We’re also thrilled to be making one of the first original commissions for ITV Encore.”

ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning Steve November added: “Midwinter of the Spirit is a contemporary and edgy drama which draws upon dark, pagan forces which are intriguing and spiritually frightening. We’re delighted to commission three episodes of a potentially returnable crime drama with a supernatural twist.”

Midwinter of the Spirit will begin filming in Hereford next April.

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