ITV has commissioned The Frankenstein Chronicles, a thrilling and terrifying re-imagining of the Frankenstein myth as a six-part period crime drama to be produced by the award-winning independent production company Rainmark Films and screened on ITV Encore.
Filming will begin in Northern Ireland with funding from Northern Ireland Screen in January 2015 and further information with regard to casting will be announced in due course.
Incorporating elements from the investigative and horror genres with an extraordinary hero at its centre, Inspector John Marlott, played by multi-awarding winning leading actor Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Accused) will be taken on a terrifying journey in pursuit of a chilling and diabolical foe.
Set in Regency London in 1827, The Frankenstein Chronicles has been created by Emmy nominated director and writer Benjamin Ross (The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, Torte Bluma – both as director) and writer Barry Langford (Torte Bluma).
In the drama’s opening sequences, the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, following a successful operation by Thames River Police to apprehend a gang of opium smugglers, recruits Marlott.
As he stands on the water’s edge contemplating the arrest of the smugglers, Marlott makes a shocking discovery. The body of a dead child is washed up on the shore and on further examination of the corpse he is horrified to discover it’s not actually a child but rather a crude assembly of body parts arranged in a grotesque parody of a human form. The mutilated child-like body leaves an indelible impression on Marlott and he finds himself unable to shake off the memory of what has happened that fateful night.
With a formidable reputation as an investigator, he is known as a man who “doesn’t know the meaning of fear,” so it comes as no surprise when coldly efficient Peel summons him insisting the “details of your investigation must remain confidential.” And after what he’s witnessed Marlott accepts the challenge to track the perpetrator of this heinous crime.
We follow him as he pursues the crazed killer behind the mutilated body. As he investigates, Marlott discovers that what he’s dealing with is more horrific than he could possibly have imagined.
ITV’s Director of Drama, Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea have commissioned the series for ITV Encore.
“The Frankenstein Chronicles is an epic re-working of one of literature and cinema’s most iconic stories,” says November. “We’re delighted to be working with Benjamin Ross, Barry Langford and the team at Rainmark Films with the vision to bring Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein back to life.”
The Frankenstein Chronicles will be produced by David Tanner for Rainmark Films (co-producer of Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight) and Carol Moorhead (Line of Duty, Wodehouse In Exile – as line producer). Executive Producers are Rainmark Films’ Tracey Scoffield (Muhammad Ali’s Greatest fight, The Gathering Storm, Dirty Pretty Things) and Frank Doelger (Game of Thrones, Rome, John Adams, The Gathering Storm). The drama’s co-creator Benjamin Ross, whose credits also include Poppy Shakespeare and RKO281, will direct the series.
“Marlott’s investigation takes him into the dark corners of Regency London,” said Benjamin. “He discovers an underworld of prostitution, drug smuggling, bodysnatching, and murder for profit. The rational evidence points first one-way and then another as he contemplates a frightening alternate scenario,” added Benjamin.
Rainmark Films is an award-winning independent production company making bold and ambitious drama for both film and television with strong production relationships with HBO in the US and BETA in Europe. its productions for HBO include My Zinc Bed by David Hare;and the Emmy winner Into the Storm by Hugh Whitemore (which was also nominated for three Golden Globes)
Rainmark also produced The Other Man, a feature film directed by Richard Eyre and, most recently, Stephen Frears’ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, also for HBO, starring Christopher Plummer, Danny Glover and Benjamin Walker, and written by Shawn Slovo.
Rainmark and the BBC recently announced the commission of a television event mini-series written and directed by the incomparable Steve McQueen, set for production in 2015.
Frank Doelger is Director of Rainmark Films and lead producer on the international HBO hit series Game of Thrones, which is currently shooting Season Five in Belfast, Dubrovnik and Seville.