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Homeland writer pens new political thriller

ITV has commissioned a new six part political thriller Fearless, from Mammoth Screen (Poldark, And Then There Were None).

Written by Homeland writer and executive producer Patrick Harbinson, Fearless stars acclaimed stage and screen actress Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful) as Emma Blunt, a Solicitor known for defending lost causes.

Emma is investigating the killing of a schoolgirl in East Anglia and trying to free the man she thinks was wrongly convicted of the girl’s murder. As she digs ever deeper into the case, she begins to sense powerful forces, in the police and the intelligence services at home and abroad, who want to stop her uncovering the truth.

Patrick Harbinson writes: “Fearless is a legal thriller, but one that’s written in the crash zone where law and politics collide.”

“When, three years ago, Damien Timmer asked me if I was interested in writing a legal series inspired by the work of lawyers like Gareth Peirce and Helena Kennedy, I immediately said yes.  Much of the work I’ve done in America in the last ten years (24, Person of Interest, Homeland) has been about life in the post 9/11 (and post 7/7) world. The so-called War on Terror has put serious stress on the ordinary workings of the law. National security justifies all sorts of police and state over-reach – and the great majority of us are prepared to accept this. So I wanted to create a character who challenges these assumptions, who fights for those outside the normal run of society, and who is uncompromising, difficult, and completely indifferent to unpopularity and danger.  The result was Emma Blunt and Fearless…”

He continued: “I’m delighted that Helen McCrory has agreed to play Emma.  She is a complex and contradictory character, and I am incredibly lucky to have someone of Helen’s wit, warmth and intelligence bringing her to life.”

Helen McCrory commented: “When l was at drama school l was inspired by Prime Suspect, watching as Britain led the way in creating strong female characters to lead their dramas. l’m thrilled to be leading ITV’s new drama – it’s a thriller that starts deceptively small, then begins crossing borders to different cultures and continents.  l knew and admired Patrick Harbinson’s writing for Homeland, and Pete Travis and l have worked together before – that shorthand is so important on such a big project with ambitions running high. I can’t wait to start filming.”

ITV by Controller of Drama Victoria Fea, said: “Emma Blunt is the kind of character who hates to back down. Against all the odds she’s driven by the unfolding mystery of that 2003 murder and whether the killer was unjustly convicted.  Fearless is a complex, taut thriller and we’re delighted to be commissioning the series from Mammoth Screen.”

Fearless will be directed by BAFTA winner Pete Travis (The Go-Between, Legacy), with filming set to begin in London and East Anglia in September 2016.