ITV commissions second series of ‘The Bletchley Circle’

Hattie Morahan joins ‘The Bletchley Circle as ITV announce recommission.

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ITV has announced code-breaking drama The Bletchley Circle has been recommissioned for a second, four-episode series.

The ITV series attracted an average audience of 5.6m (23% share) and garnered rave reviews from US broadcaster PBS.

Reprising their roles for series two are stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Rachael Stirling, Sophie Rundle and Julie Graham with a new addition of Olivier Award Nominated, Hattie Morahan joining the cast.

The series, based on the lives of four extraordinary and brilliant women who worked at top-secret HQ Bletchley Park during World War II, will feature two self-contained stories each played out across 2 x 60 minute episodes written by series creator Guy Burt.

Set a year on from the first series in 1953, the ladies are reunited for their second case in the first two-part story when former Bletchley Park colleague, Alice Merren (Hattie Morahan) is accused of murder.   Jean (Julie Graham) methodically sets to work examining the evidence and is intent on helping Alice after a distinguished scientist is discovered shot through the heart in the study of his home with Alice, gun in hand, standing over him.

The evidence is stacked against her, but Jean’s instincts tell her differently and she goes to visit Alice in Holloway Prison. Alice is quietly resigned to the fact she will hang.  But why has she offered no defence and why does she refuse to talk?

Jean calls on the ladies to reunite, but will they share her faith in Alice’s innocence?

Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) is still shaken by the trauma of last year’s events and fears for the safety of her young family.

Millie (Rachael Stirling) has secured a highly regarded position translating for German businessman – the old enemy.

Now working for Scotland Yard as a secretary, Lucy’s (Sophie Rundle) ability to process and recall data (eidetic memory) is vital if the ladies are to investigate Alice’s case.

Will the women overcome their fears and risk their burgeoning careers to save Alice’s life as the days to the hanging countdown? And what danger will they face as they uncover not only Alice’s secret, but also a much darker one at the heart of the British Army?

In the second of the two-part stories Millie’s black market dealings with charming rogue Jasper lands her in jeopardy when she becomes caught up in the murky world of people trafficking, bringing her face to face with hard-bitten Marta, a Maltese businesswoman whose family isn’t to be crossed.

Abducted by Marta’s henchmen, Millie is shocked by what she discovers.  But with her own life under threat can Millie escape and help the imprisoned young women, whose misery her “innocent” side-business has helped fund. And will the rest of the Circle forgive and help her?

The Bletchley Circle will be produced by Trevor Hopkins (Kidnap and Ransom, The Prisoner) and executive produced by Jake Lushington (The Devil’s Whore, Mysterious Creatures) for World Productions.  Guy Burt will write the scripts. Jamie Payne (The Hour, Dr. Who) is lead director who will shoot the first two-part story. Sarah Harding (Compulsion, Torn) will direct the second.

Executive Producer, Jake Lushington for World Productions says:

“World is thrilled that after the fantastic audience and critical response last year The Bletchley Circle has been re-commissioned by ITV with more hours and two exciting new stories for our former Bletchley code-breakers. In this series as well as unlocking the sinister forces at work in 1950’s Britain, Susan, Millie, Jean and Lucy are attempting forge their own place and identity as women in that era. The combination of these heroic women’s personal stories and a compelling period thriller has already marked itself out as a winning combination both in the UK and internationally, with its recent US Premiere garnering rave reviews from the American press.”

The Bletchley Circle will be filmed at Bletchley Park and in Greater London to air on ITV.