Outlander star Lauren Lyle has landed the titular lead role in ITV’s upcoming drama series Karen Pirie, which comes from the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard.
Based on the character by Val McDermid, the three-episode series will be based on the acclaimed Scottish crime writer’s debut novel in the series, The Distant Echo.
Pirie is a young, fearless Scottish investigator with a quick mouth and determined desire for the truth, with the series set to see her reopen a historic murder case that has renewed interest thanks to a provocative true crime podcast.
The synopsis reads: “When teenager Rosie Duff (Casualty’s Anna Russell-Martin) was found brutally murdered in the Scottish university town of St Andrews in 1996, suspicion fell on the three drunken students who were discovered at the scene of the crime, claiming to have found her body; Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz (Jhon Lumsden) Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie (Jack Hesketh) and Alex Gilbey (Death in Paradise’s Buom Tihngang). But with a lack of forensic evidence, no charges were brought and the police investigation floundered.
“Twenty-five years on, someone appears to be willing to risk everything to keep the secrets surrounding the case hidden. Do the three men know more than they previously revealed? How flawed was the original investigation? And can Karen uncover the truth of what happened to Rosie that fateful night?”
Karen Pirie is also set to star Sex Education’s Chris Jenks as Jason ‘Mint’ Murray, Blithe Spirit’s Zach Wyatt as DS Phil Parhatka, The Salisbury Poisonings’ Michael Shaeffer as Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie senior, His Dark Materials’ Ariyon Bakare as Alex Gilbey senior, and Unforgotten’s Alec Newman as Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz senior.
Gareth Bryn (Line of Duty) will direct, Clare Kerr (The Nest) is producing, and McDermid, Simon Heath and Emer Kenny will executive produce.
“I am completely overjoyed to be bringing the formidable force that is DS Karen Pirie to life through Emer Kenny’s slick adaptation,” Lyle said. “The world Emer has created using the backbone of Val McDermid’s much loved books is electrifying and hooked me immediately.
“I couldn’t ask for a more creative, supportive and energetic team to be joining. I’m so thankful to Val, Emer, World Productions and ITV for welcoming me wholeheartedly on board.”