Facebook link button Bookmark and Share RSS feed rss   

Wire in the Blood

Wire in the Blood TV Series

Wire in the Blood TV seriesWire in the Blood was a British crime drama television series, created and produced by Coastal Productions for the ITV network that ran from 2002 to 2009. The series is based on characters created by Val McDermid: a university clinical psychologist, Dr. Anthony “Tony” Valentine Hill (Robson Green), who is able to tap into his own dark side to get inside the heads of serial killers. Working with vice squad detectives, Hill takes on tough and seemingly impenetrable cases in an attempt to track down the killers before they strike again.

The first series consisted of three two-part episodes. The first was an adaptation of The Mermaids Singing, the second an adaptation of The Wire In The Blood and the third was an original script based on the characters, called Justice Painted Blind.

Below is a series of snapshots about the series as it was happening…


Wire in the Blood continued for six series. For more indepth information visit:  www.coastalproductions.co.uk

The title Wire in the Blood – where it came from and what it means…

The phrase ‘the wire in the blood’ comes from T.S. Eliots Four Quartets. – ‘The trilling wire in the blood/sings below inveterate scars/appeasing long-forgotten wars.’

As for the meaning… In an interview Robson Green said the phrase wire in the blood was taken to mean a genetic kink, something impure and unusual in the blood, that leads to the kind of psychosis Hill might deal with. Val McDermid says: “Who knows what Eliot really meant by that line? Robson’s explanation is as good as any… For myself, I’ve always taken it to be a metaphor for the thrill of adrenaline surging through the bloodstream. But we’ll never know for sure”.

Wire in the Blood – All Six Series – October 2009

Completely Wired Press ReleaseWire in the Blood – Completely Wired

All six series available in one fantastic DVD boxset from 30 November 2009

Robson Green (Soldier Soldier, Northern Lights) stars as dysfunctional psychologist Dr Tony Hill in hit ITV1 series, Wire in the Blood. Based on the characters of prize-winning author Val McDermid, Dr Hill’s unique insight into the fractured mind proves invaluable in the hunt for the murderers and rapists terrorising the northern town of Bradfield.

Now available in its entirety, follow Dr Tony Hill in a race against time as he and ambitious DCI Carol Jordan (Hermione Norris – Cold Feet, Spooks) tackle the ever present threat of serial killers stalking their streets. From Series Four, Tony is joined by DI Alex Fielding (Simone Lahbib – Bad Girls, Monarch of the Glen) as he faces his darkest and most brutal cases yet. Can the team collect all the evidence and stop the horrific slayings in time?

Includes Prayer of the Bone – 2008 feature length special filmed in Texas, USA – Also available individually from 30 November 2009

The release Wire in the Blood fans have been waiting for!

For more information about the Wire in the Blood TV series visit Robson Green’s website.

Order from amazon.co.uk

Wire in the Blood 5th & 6th series on DVD – June 2009

Wire in the Blood DVD releaseThe final two series of the gripping ITV drama now available to own in a fantastic set…

Out 03 August 2009


For more information about the Wire in the Blood TV series visit Robson Green’s website.

ITV Fail to Recommission Wire in the Blood – Val McDermid – March 2009

Wire in the Blood Press ReleaseI’m very sad to report that ITV have refused to recommission WIRE IN THE BLOOD for a seventh series. All of us involved with the show have been in a state of shock since we got the news. It’s inexplicable to me.

In spite of the fact that ITV have never given us a regular slot, the show has gone out at varying times of the year, on different nights and in at least three formats in terms of length, we have consistently delivered some of the highest audiences for any ITV drama. We have consistently been the most-watched show on any channel. According to official ratings figures, well over 90% of our viewers regard the show as an appointment‚ with the TV  ie, they don’t just watch because there’s nothing else on. The show is seen on 120 channels world-wide. It’s won awards, it’s just been shortlisted for an Edgar by the Mystery Writers of America.

Year after year, Coastal have produced fantastic quality on a shoestring budget that has diminished in real terms. They’ve brought millions of pounds into the economy of the North East of England and because they’re the only company in the region producing network drama, this axing means a loss of skills and a loss of voice that goes way beyond our personal interests.

For more on this: 


Wire in the Blood VI DVD – March 2009

Wire in the Blood series VI DVDWire in the Blood series VI out on DVD
Starring Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Mark Letheren and Emma Handy.

“Gripping stuff…” – Daily Express

The sixth series of this massively popular drama comes to DVD on 2nd March 2009.

Dr. Tony Hill is back in four more dark, gripping episodes of ITV’s thrilling series Wire In The Blood.

Socially awkward and unorganised, and with his private life spilling from his favoured plastic bags, Tony Hill’s unique insight into the fractured mind remains invaluable to Bradfield C.I.D. as the close knit team continue to hunt for the killers, rapists and sadists stalking their streets. And, in this series, nobody is safe.

In episode one, “Unnatural Vices” the victims are having their limbs systematically cut off, apparently while they are still alive, with the masked perpetrator calmly eating their severed body parts in front of them as they remain conscious. Could a police officer be next on the killer’s gruesome menu?

Based on Val McDermid’s best selling novel The Last Temptation, “Falls the Shadow” sees a confused Tony named as the main suspect when an Experimental Psychologist’s mutilated body is discovered in her hotel room, with Dr Hill’s blood and fingerprints all over the crime scene.

Young men are going missing in the dark episode “From the Defeated“, only to turn up beaten, strangled and shot in the head. The team must discover any link between these deaths and the underground world of dog fighting, and quickly, before another young victim is taken.

And finally, in episode 4 “The Dead Land“, Tony and Alex’s relationship begins to grow and evolve, but the socially  inept doctor is continually missing all the signals. Meanwhile the freshly cleansed bodies of the homeless and vulnerable are turning up abandoned in Bradfield. Can the team collect all the pieces of the jigsaw before another gruesome death?

Starring Robson Green as the hapless yet brilliant Dr. Hill and Simone Lahbib as the supportive and patient Alex Fielding, Wire In The Blood remains one of ITV’s most popular series, with author Val McDermid nominated for the channel’s Writer’s Award for Classic TV Drama, alongside the likes of Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin and Lynda  La Plante.

Cat No: PAR61427 | RRP: £19.99

Order this DVD from amazon.co.uk

Wire in the Blood Series VI – September 2008

Wire in the Blood Series VIWire in the Blood set for series six

Robson Green has to confront a cannibal killer with a deadly vendetta in a new series of the hard-hitting drama, Wire in the Blood.

The gritty films see eccentric clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill (Robson Green) facing his criminal nemesis – with devastating consequences for both him and his police colleague DI Fielding (played by Simone Lahbib).

Tony’s battle with the killer Michael (Jolyon Baker) forms the backbone of the eight-week series, which has a new format of four two-part stories.

When human remains are found on wasteland, Alex brings Tony to investigate theories of honour killings and fetishism. But the killer has Tony in his sights and the inquiry becomes frighteningly personal.

Tony also finds himself a prime suspect in a police investigation when a woman who tries to seduce him is found dead.

Alex and Tony join forces to track down the men or women responsible for a catalogue of shocking attacks in the northern town of Bradfield, including a series of prostitute murders, the mysterious disappearance of young men and bizarre killings of homeless people.

Once again, Tony’s uncanny understanding of human behaviour enables him to empathise with both victim and killer – even to the point of sensing the killings themselves.

Wire in the Blood Box-set Series III & IV – April 2008

Wire in the Blood DVD box-setThe Complete Third And Fourth Series

Starring Robson GreenHermione Norris and Simone Lahbib.

4 DVD Set Out To Buy (UK) on 05-May-2008

Clinical Psychologist, Dr Tony Hill and Detective Inspector Carol Jordan are reunited for four more dark and disturbing cases in Series III, hunting brutal killers terrorising the northern town of Bradfield. An obsessive fascination with the fractured criminal mind, leads Dr Hill and D.I. Jordan on an intense and vivid journey into a dark world of faceless serial killers. It is a race against time as they try to anticipate the killer’s very next step, and identify the next possible victim, each case putting more pressure on their close relationship.

Series IV sees Tony Hill’s calls to Carol Jordan going unanswered and with the appeal courts investigating his influence in a previous case, Tony must once again pit himself against the horrific serial killers stalking the northern town of Bradfield. But in ‘Time To Murder and Create’, as yet another body is discovered, do the police, and the new D.I. in particular, still want his help? Do they still trust his instincts as they hunt a callous sex fiend luring desperate young girls to their grisly deaths?

Wire in the Blood VI – Update From Val McDermid – March 2008

Wire in the Blood series VI“Filming is now under way for a sixth series of WITB. Again, we’ve got a terrific set of scripts and from what I’ve seen so far, performances to match. The special that was filmed in Texas over the summer, Prayer of the Bone, will be aired early in the New Year, so keep an eye on the UK TV schedules and make sure you don’t miss it. I guarantee it’ll have you sweating in your seat.”

Read more about this show on ITV.com

 Wire in the Blood IV Two disc box-set available – October 2007 

Wire in the Blood box-set DVDRobson Green returns as clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill in a new series of ITV1’s Wire In The Blood – and the cases are his most disturbing yet.

With his calls to Carol Jordan going unanswered and with the appeal courts investigating his influence in a previous case, Tony must once again pit himself against the horrific serial killers stalking the northern town of Bradfield. But in Time To Murder and Create, as yet another body is discovered, do the police, and the new D.I. in particular, still want his help? Do they still trust his instincts as they hunt a callous sex fiend luring desperate young girls to their grisly deaths?

In the episode Torment, based on the novel by award-winning author Val McDermid, Tony must also find the vicious killer attacking prostitutes with razor blades and save a close team member from certain death. But what could the killer want with her? Delve into the murky, secretive world of the Freemasons in the episode Hole In The Heart. Is this secret society behind a wave of horrific sacrificial deaths and suicides? And what is the Church’s role in these gruesome deaths?

And in the final episode of this suspense-filled series, when a convict blames his profiling for what looks like a gross miscarriage of justice, Tony is finally forced to question whether he still has that uncanny ability to see into the minds of killers and rapists. Has his tumour effected his judgement?

Read more about this show on ITV.com

Wire in the Blood V – July 2007

Wire in the Blood VEpisode one: The Colour of Amber
Wednesday 11 July 2007, ITV1
Stars: Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Christopher Colquhoun, Adjoa Andoh, Liam Mower

Synopsis: Dr Tony Hill (Robson Green) and DI Alex Fielding (Simone Lahbib) are in a race against time when a young girl is seen being snatched by a man in a car.

Alex knows her chances of finding the girl alive are falling sharply as the first hour slips by and reacts by calling an Amber alert. The media is flooded with pleas for information. Meanwhile Tony is building a profile of likely abductors.

He rules out the first police suspect: a paedophile recently re-homed on the estate. The man prefers boys but as public anger rises he has to sit in a police holding cell for his own safety.

Meanwhile, a distraught mother, Celeste comes forward identifying the missing girl as her daughter Janita. She should be safely at school, but neither she nor her young friend Mikey turned up. Celeste is stricken because Janita’s twin died in infancy. Is she going to lose another child?

Tony knows that a likely abductor will know the area and know his escape routes. But searches produce no matches. And although she struggled, the abducted girl had her chance to run but didn’t take it. So was the abductor a stranger, or someone she knew after all? Janita’s father and step-father both have alibis.

When Janita’s friend Mikey, the last person to have seen her alive, is found trying to burn his blood-stained school uniform he also enters the frame as a possible suspect. But Mikey refuses to talk.

Episode two: Nocebo
Wednesday 18 July 2007, ITV1
Stars: Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Thomas Byrne

Synopsis: A teenage girl and a young boy are found dead and they appear to have been victims of a ritual killing. Alex (Simone Lahbib) is upset by the lack of care shown by their bereaved families as she’s having problems of her own with her son Ben.

The trail leads to links with a property tycoon who’ll stop at nothing to get the rent paid, a preacher whose “healing” activities involve animal sacrifice, and a self-styled artist whose works are painted in blood.

For Tony (Robson Green) the dead bodies could be a warning and he puzzles over what the killer might want to gain and why. Is this caused by a religious cult? Is it one killer or two with one suspect following the other?

Meanwhile Alex has taken Tony’s advice and hired a nanny, easing her pressures with Ben and work. When the nanny returns home without Ben the team realise the awful truth.

The killer has been lurking unseen but close by, manipulating the police via psychological suggestion just as they have manipulated their victims. And the killer now has Ben.

Episode three: The Names of Angels
Wednesday 25 July 2007, ITV1
Stars: Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Jack O’Connell

Synopsis: Tony (Robson Green) is faced with a series of deadly puzzles when a killer rapes and strangles young female victims in Bradfield. He chooses to dress and identify them as young women he killed several years before in Europe.

Why is he boasting to police about his past, leaving the bodies where they can easily be found? And why is he choosing confident, successful victims from the world of business, and killing in Bradfield?

Tony and Alex (Simone Lahbib) begin to link the foreign murders to the names of more than one Bradfield businessman. Could these people be prime suspects or are they still further victims caught in the killer’s web?

They must discover if the killer is really wealthy and powerful or someone with no money and a vengeful desire to steal from others.

Meanwhile, Tony has his own problems when 18-year-old released killer Jack (Jack O’Connell) turns up on his doorstep. He’s on the run from his social workers and police.

On top of that Alex longs for Tony’s help when she discovers that Ben has been secretly in contact with his dad. But pride stops her from confessing her need, and sparks a series of misunderstandings.

Episode four: Anything You Can Do
Wednesday August 1 2007, ITV1
Stars: Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Ian Peck, Ken Bradshaw, Michael Maloney

Synopsis: The murder of an elderly woman, suffocated in her own home, seems too deliberately staged to be an accident or robbery.

And when Alex (Simone Lahbib) calls in Tony (Robson Green) he realises the killer will strike again.

To set a trap, Tony and Alex hold a public meeting which Tony predicts the killer will be compelled to attend.

At the meeting, Tony’s profile of the murderer sees one member of the public stand out as prime suspect – thuggish security guard Kelly.

He lives with his overbearing mother and has also been seen near the scene of crime by several witnesses – including frightened local man Donovan.

But Kelly and his mother hold out under questioning and, as Tony predicted, the first murder proves to be the start of several killings. They all show the same signature but apparently different personality traits in the finer details of their execution. The differences seem too profound to allow for only one killer.

Meanwhile, Tony has an initially pleasant surprise when old friend Jonathan (Michael Maloney), a psychologist whose work he admired when they were students together, turns up out of the blue. But Alex immediately dislikes Jonathan, and her instincts are proved right.

Wire in the Blood – Update From Val McDermid – May 2007

Wire in the Blood 2007One-off filming of WITB in America
We don’t have an exact transmission date for WITB5 yet. But the good news is that during the summer, we are filming a special episode set in the US. This will be shown separately from the main series. Also, the further good news is that a sixth series has been commissioned already. I think part of the reason for that is the terrific on-screen chemistry between Robson and Simone Lahbib. They really spark off each other — I think each brings out the best in the other, in terms of their acting.
Don’t miss the new series when it’s on — I think it’s even more gripping than before. Hard to believe, I know, but true all the same.

Find out more about Wire in the Blood visit www.robsongreen.com

Wire in the Blood IV – September 2006

Wire in the Blood series IVWire in the Blood Series 4 – ITV1 (UK)
Begins Wednesday 20th September 2006 – 21:00 to 22:30

Time To Murder And Create – Series 4, episode 1.
An old case reopened catches Tony Hill out. So does the surprise news
that Carol Jordan has been replaced. Combative and wily new detective
Alex Fielding doesn’t like Tony or his methods, but she gradually
realises that he knows much more about her first major murder case
than he should.

Starring: Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Mark Letheren, Emma Handy,
Peter Sullivan and Mark Penfold.

For more information about this episode visit www.robsongreen.com

Torment – Series 4, episode 2.
Police are baffled when a prostitute’s murder matches in every detail a series of killings for which Derek Tyler has already been caught and jailed. Tony knows it can’t be a copycat because in sexual homicides every killer has their own unique signature, but if this isn’t someone imitating Derek’s atrocities then how are the killings happening at all?

Based on the Val McDermid novel The Torment of Others

Find out more about this episode visit www.robsongreen.com

Hole in the Heart – Series 4, episode 3.
Saving student Kurt from leaping to his death makes Tony ponder why someone might want to take their own life. He’d like to help Kurt to feel better, but Kurt doesn’t stick around in therapy long enough to debate the issue. He disappears to hook up with a new group of “friends” and Tony is left feeling inadequate.

Find out more about this episode visit www.robsongreen.com

The Wounded Surgeon – Series 4, episode 4.
Tony’s first case with the police comes back to haunt him when Jason Eglee, convicted of murder on Tony’s evidence, comes up for parole. Jason appears to be a reformed character after years of therapy in prison, but Tony’s not convinced and manages to sway the board to his view until Eglee’s distraught mother attacks him before collapsing and dying.

Find out more about this episode visit www.robsongreen.com

Wire in the Blood III – DVD

Wire in the Blood series III DVDThe TV adaptation of Val McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels

Based on the characters created by Val McDermid, Wire In The Blood stars Robson Green as Dr Tony Hill and Hermione Norris as detective Carol Jordan.

Clinical Psychologist, Dr Tony Hill and Detective Inspector Carol Jordan are reunited for four more dark and disturbing cases, hunting brutal killers terrorising the northern town of Bradfield.

An obsessive fascination with the fractured criminal mind, leads Dr Hill and D.I. Jordan on an intense and vivid journey into a dark world of faceless serial killers. It is a race against time as they try to anticipate the killer’s very next step.

Vulnerable and lonely children are being abducted and murdered, but what is their connection to a similar case some years before? A notorious killer has been released from prison and it’s not long before the brutal slayings start again, bearing all the hallmarks of the infamous “Mack The Knife”. Exactly how ‘safe and rehabilitated’ is one Michael Thompson?

Life is imitating art in the tense case ” Nothing But The Night “, as a schizophrenic killer leaves his taunting messages scrawled over walls, in his victim’s blood, and what does Tony’s “wife” have planned for Carol?

In ” Synchronicity “, Tony is forced to confront his own mortality whilst hunting down an anonymous sniper. But is anything real anymore? Who can he trust?

Contains the episodes :

-  Case 1: Redemption

-  Case 2: Bad Seed

-  Case 3: Nothing But The Night

Special Features :

•  Free book sampler of Val McDermid’s novel   ‘The Grave Tattoo’

Wire in the Blood III – Update From Val McDermid – March 2005

The TV adaptation of Val McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels

It’s here! Wire in the Blood III will hit UK screens next Monday, February 21 2005 at 9pm on ITV. There will be four ninety minute episodes, each featuring an original storyline based on my characters. I can promise you that it’s even better than before. Hard to believe, I know, but I think the cast and crew have excelled themselves this time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Transmission dates for Wire in the Blood III down under.
Australia commences weekly from the 1 April 2005
NZ commences weekly from the 2 April 2005

BBC America will be premiering the third season of Wire in the Blood on Mondays at 9:00 pm (ET/PT) starting April 11, 2005 as part of their “Mystery Monday” programming block.
They will update their website shortly so keep an eye on www.bbcamerica.com.

Wire in the Blood II – June 2004

Wire in the Blood - Japanese DVD cover

The TV adaptation of Val McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels

  • Second series of Wire in the Blood gained the highest viewing figures for a drama that month.
  • Filming of the third series will start in September 2004.
  • Sandra Jobling (the executive producer of Wire in the Blood) was honoured with a special award.
  • Robson Green and Hermione Norris returns as Dr Tony Hill and DI Carol Jordan in a new series of Wire in the Blood (Feb. 2004)
  • ITV has decided to commission a second series of Wire in the Blood
  • Second series began filming on March 3rd 2003
  • The new series will consist of four 90-minute stories
  • The first series video/DVD out now in the UK
  • DVD/video release in the US in the spring/summer.
  • For more information about Wire in the Blood visit Robson Green’s website

Find out more about this series – visit www.robsongreen.com

Wire in the Blood II DVD/vhs is now available in the UK.. Buy Now

New Series – Update From Val McDermid – May 2004

Wire in the blood series 2 DVDThe second series of WITB was transmitted in the UK in February, and gained the highest viewing figures for a drama that month. (If you missed it, it’s out on DVD now on both sides of the Atlantic…) It’s also been shown in several foreign countries, including Australia and the USA (on BBC America). It was highly acclaimed, with most previews according it pick of the day status. Now we’re gearing up for the filming of the third series, which will start in September. Everybody’s very excited about it, and we’ve already got some terrific early script drafts. Patrick Harbinson, who adaptedThe Mermaids Singing, is writing one of the new series’ scripts, as is Alan Whiting, who has written three scripts so far, including the adaptation of The Wire in the Blood.

At the Royal Television Society Dinner in Newcastle, Sandra Jobling (the executive producer of Wire in the Blood) was honoured with a special award for her personal contribution to the industry. Judging by the audience’s response when Robson Green spoke about her impressive track record, it was a popular decision by the RTS.

Find out more about this series – visit www.robsongreen.com

Wire in the Blood II DVD/vhs is now available in the UK.. Buy Now

New Series – Update From Val McDermid – Jan 2004

Wire in the blood TV series book cover

The hot news is that the second series of Wire in the Blood will begin transmission in the UK in February. It will also be seen in Australia and on BBC America soon after that. The series has four ninety minute episodes, all original storylines. Two of the episodes have been written by Alan Whiting, who wrote four hours of the first series, so he really knew what he was dealing with!

Even though it’s not based on the books, I was still heavily involved in the development process, and I’m very pleased with the end result. I’m clearly not the only one, since ITV’s Network Centre have already commissioned another four episodes for series 3. It’s very unusual for them to recommission before a series has been aired – normally they wait to see how the ratings go. So it’s a real mark of how highly they rate the quality of the second series – they’re confident that it will be even more popular than last year’s debut. I’d like to say we’re surprised by their decision, but if I’m honest, all of us involved with the project were so convinced we had another winner on our hands that we’d already started script development for the third series regardless. But it’s always nice to know you’re right. And we got another boost at the press screening of the first episode at the beginning of December. There was a real buzz of excitement, and standing room only in the screening theatre. The journalists I spoke to were all very enthusiastic, which is unusual in that cynical world…

We had originally planned to film the third series in the late spring/early summer. But everything has had to be put back because of one unforeseen circumstance. Hermione Norris, who plays Carol, is expecting her first baby in June, so obviously she can’t go running around chasing serial killers when she’s about to give birth. So instead, we’ll be filming in the autumn. But the plan is still to show series three early in 2005, so it won’t affect the viewers! We all feel quite proprietary about the baby – Hermione met her husband Simon at the readthrough for the first episode of WITB. Simon was the script editor on the first two series, and while murder and mayhem raged around them, they fell in love and married a year ago. So this will be the first WITB baby!

Meanwhile, I’ve been running around all over the place. I started my travels in Germany with Robson Green on a press promotional trip to Hamburg on behalf of ZDF, the German TV company who showed WITB there. We had a very entertaining time, not least because, for reasons too complicated to explain here, in Germany I am known as the crime writer who knows about football, a scenario which left Robson, a passionate Newcastle United fan, completely bewildered… The Germans are very enthusiastic about the series, and we hope that when we finally get round to adapting The Last Temptation (probably as a three-hour special) that it will be a joint venture, filmed in Germany with a mix of British and German actors to give it a real flavour of authenticity.

News Update From Val McDermid – March 2003

Wire in the blood TV series book coverThe filming of the second series of Wire in the Blood is now well under way. This time, it will consist of four ninety-minute episodes. I went up to Newcastle for the readthrough of Episode 1, Still She Cries, written by Alan Whiting, who adapted Wire itself and also wrote the original script for the final story of the first series. Listening to the cast reading the script was an amazing experience; even when you know you’ve got a good script, it comes alive when the actors take over, and it leaps off the page, creating all sorts of visual images inside the head.

I also spent a couple of days with the cast and crew, watching some of the early filming, which was fascinating. Of course, there’s always a lot of hanging around on set, which means I get the chance to spend time getting to know the actors better. Both Robson Green and Hermione Norris are thrilled to be back in the saddle, bringing Tony and Carol to life for a second time, and I’m always pleasantly surprised by how welcoming everyone is when I’m around. Most television companies prefer to keep writers at arms’ length, but Coastal Productions made it clear right from the start that when it comes to Tony & Carol, I’m the expert, and they want to make full use of that expertise. Which I guess is one of the reasons the series works so well for those of you who have read and enjoyed the books.

Press Release – Series 1 Video/DVD – March 2003

Wire in the blood DVD series 1The complete blockbuster ITV series
starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris

Wire In the Blood

“Refreshingly quirky and unusually edgy” – The Times
“… scary, fast-moving… engrossing” – Daily Telegraph

ITS DEBUT appearance achieved the strongest opening performance figures for any new drama on ITV in 2002 and it eventually went on to attract over 37 million viewers. Starring the phenomenon that is Robson Green and the hugely popular Hermione Norris (Cold Feet) and based on the novels by award-winning author Val McDermid, it is not difficult to see why it became such compulsive viewing.

Revelation Films is delighted to announce a 5th May retail release date for the brilliant ‘Wire In the Blood’. Featuring never before seen footage, the entire series will be available as either a triple DVD collector’s box set, complete with interviews and behind the scenes footage, or a double VHS box set. And at a retail price of just £29.99 and £19.99 respectively, it would be a crime to miss it!

Release Date: 5th May 2003
Catalogue No: PAR 61186 (DVD); PAR 50164 (VHS)
Price: £29.99 (DVD) £19.99 (VHS)
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 500 minutes

In three nail-biting storylines, clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill (Robson Green) joins forces with the ambitious and driven Detective Inspector Carol Jordan (Hermione Norris) to solve a series of baffling and brutal murders.

Tony has only ever encountered murderers once they are safely behind bars. But when Carol approaches him for help in her investigation into a potential serial killer, he finds himself involved in a whole new – and exceedingly dangerous – arena.

Intelligent and compassionate, Tony is also quirky and eccentric. His understanding of human behaviour enables him to empathise with both victim and killer – even to the point of almost ‘seeing’ the murders themselves. However, his unorthodox approach makes him less than popular and he quickly makes as many enemies as friends at Bradfield CID.

In the first film, The Mermaids Singing, Carol goes out on a professional limb as she invites Tony’s help when a string of young men are found brutally murdered in and around Bradfield.

The discovery of a first one and then a second teenage girl’s body in a remote lake leads to the hunt for a multiple killer in the second investigation, Shadows Rising.

In the final episode, Justice Painted Blind, the abduction of an 11-year-old girl and the strangulation of a young woman, bring back memories of the murder of a young girl three years earlier.

Following a stint in Casualty, ROBSON GREEN became a household name during his four-year spell as Fusilier Dave Tucker in Soldier, Soldier. A performance of Unchained Melody in an episode of the drama lead to Green and co-star Jerome Flynn enjoying a short but hugely successful music career, with 10 million album sales worldwide. Robson’s recent TV credits have included Grafters, Reckless, Touching Evil, Trust and Unconditional Love.

Best known for her role as Karen in Cold Feet, HERMIONE NORRIS has also appeared in such diverse productions as Clarissa, Berkeley Square, Mad Cows, Born Romantic, Falling Apart and Lucky Jim.

The series has been adapted from Val McDermid’s best-selling novels, Mermaids Singing and Wire In the Blood. Val is one of the UK’s most successful writers having sold over 2,000,000 books since beginning her outstanding, multi award-winning career. Her characters Tony Hill and Carol Jordan made their first appearance in 1998 and their latest adventure, The Last Temptation, is still a firm fixture in the UK best sellers chart.

For further information please contact:
Sara Thom/Nicola Barlow @ Media Communications
Tel: 020 8998 1517 Fax: 020 8566 8290
e-mail: sara.thom@mediacomms.co.uk/nicola.barlow@mediacomms.co.uk
March 2003

News Update From Val McDermid – January 2003

The exciting news that has got the New Year off to a great start is that ITV has decided to commission a second series of Wire in the Blood. The series was a big hit here in the UK, and it’s been well received in the US and Australia too. Here in the UK, we averaged audiences of around 8 million, the equivalent of 30% of the viewing audience. And the numbers actually increased as the series went on, which is the opposite of what usually happens. What’s been especially cheering for me is how many new readers seem to have been drawn to the books as a result of what they saw on the screen.

Filming begins March 2003
The new series will begin filming on March 3rd 2003 for three months. This time, it will consist of four 90-minute stories, all original ideas based on my characters. As before, Coastal Productions have asked me to play an extensive consultative role, and they’re committed to making this series even better than the first. The first two episodes will be written by Alan Whiting, who adapted Wire and also wroteJustice Painted Blind, the script that appeared as episodes 5&6 of the first series. (bizarre coincidence note: Alan’s brother used to own the fish shop round the corner from where I live…) The third episode will be written by Niall Leonard, who adapted Minette Walters’ The Dark Room for TV. He’s also written for Second SightSilent WitnessHornblower and Ballykissangel. I’m very impressed with the material I’ve seen so far, and I think it’s going to make great TV. I will of course have a cameo role in this second series, though I don’t know yet what it will be. Robson suggested I might like to play a corpse… These stars, they just can’t stand the competition.

News Update From Val McDermid – November 2002

Val McDermid and Robson Green

Val & Robson Green at Wire in the Blood press screening. Photo by Pamela Bishop

Some of you may have seen the trailers ITV has been showing for the Wire in the Blood TV series – creepy, aren’t they? Well, at last, we have a firm date for the UK transmission here in the UK. It will be shown for six consecutive weeks on Thursday evening at 9pm, beginning on November 14th.

We had the press screening in London a couple of weeks ago, and there was a real buzz in the room. The show’s stars, Robson Green and Hermione Norris, have been doing lots of interviews, so keep your eyes peeled for plenty of publicity. We’re hoping to get the same rave reaction we had in Australia when the series was shown there earlier in the autumn. (And then, hopefully, a second series will be commissioned…) Whatever happens, we’ll be cracking open the champagne to celebrate its arrival on our screens.

News Update – September 2002

Val McDermid and Robson GreenWire in the Blood hits Australian TV 
The TV adaptation of the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels, Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris premiered on Friday night (27 Sept. 02) on Australian TV.

It’s been slightly edited for Australian audiences – some of the more graphic scenes have been cut because it’s going out ahead of the watershed. But I’m sure it’ll still grab viewers by the throat.

It was screened at 8.30pm on ABC, and they’re showing the series as three films rather than as six episodes. It’s had rave previews: Here’s what the critics have said so far:

Show of the Week
…dont miss it.
Robin Oliver, Sydney Morning Herald

Fans of British writer Val McDermid’s crime novels will be thrilled to learn that the television adaptations of three of her best are riveting.
…ought not to be missed by anyone who is a fan of good British crime drama.
…fine acting, writing and direction are united in the first a three part series that looks to be one of the best of its type screened this year.
Nicole Brady, The Melbourne Age

…complex, well-written characters make it a cut above the average whodunit. 
Clare Kermond, The Melbourne Age

Robson Green makes a good fist of the offbeat shrink, who likes to analyse out loud and role-play. He is self-deprecating, low key and undeniably appealing in the same flawed way as Robbie Coltrane’sCracker. Based on an award-winning novel by crime writer Val McDermid, the script is tight and clever and makes for a tense psychological tale. This is the first of three in the Wire in the Blood series and well worth watching. 
Virginia Addison, Daily Telegraph

Wire in the Blood is a cops-and-killers show in the style of Millennium pulled to bits and re-assembled for a northern England setting. The mood is cellar-dark, off-kilter and with an ending that’s unexpected.
James Collie, Courier Mail

Wired for sound crime detection
The British crime detection story, as played out on the small screen, is in a rut. They all move at the same rhythm.

Morse, the bloke in Midsomer, Taggart, Wexford, Dalziel (despite his diversionary scrotum-scratchings) are only slight variations on a theme heading inexorably, via the usual red herrings, towards the sort of denouement which Agatha Christie perfected 75 years ago with her country houses knee-deep in recently dead colonels and the blunt instruments which caused their untimely demise.

McCallum was an honourable exception for a while, but the television Rebus isn’t a patch on the books.

Also, the Lynley producers missed a great opportunity by making an insipid version of Elizabeth George’s novels, with their dark undercurrents of friendship complicated and values corrupted by the marriage of Lynley’s great love to his crippled best mate.

Thank heaven, then, for the edgy and ambiguous Wire in the Blood three-parter with Robson Green as the decidedly off-centre criminal profiler Dr Tony Hill and Hermoine Norris as Detective Inspector Carol Jordan.

Green was good several years ago as the incomparable Francesca Annis’s younger lover in the medical drama Reckless.

Norris is a stalwart of British series Cold Feet.

Together they help make Wire in the Blood one of the few hours of television worth watching.

- Friday, ABC, 8.30pm.

Neil Wiseman, ‘Just Looking’ column in The Sunday Mail TV Guide, 22-28/09/02

News Update From Val McDermid – July 2002

Val McDermid and Robson Green

Crime Scene 2002 saw a preview showing of the first two episodes of the forthcoming TV series starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris. (It’s going to air in the UK on TV in November, by the way.) They’d cut it together like a feature film, and it was a real thrill for me to sit in an auditorium full of people hearing and seeing their reaction. We had very positive feedback on it from the audience, which was reassuring. I’d always thought it was good, but I was so involved in the development, it was hard for me to step back and look at it objectively. After the showing, we had a Q&A session with Robson himself, the scriptwriter Patrick Harbinson, the producer Phil Leach and the executive producer, Sandra Jobling, which gave the audience the opportunity to ask all those things they’d been burning to find out. Then we partied…

Picture by Carol & Jim Raven

News Update From Val McDermid – June 2002

There’s a special public preview of the first two episodes of Wire in the Blood on July 12th as part of the Crime Scene 2002 festival at the National Film Theatre in London. The adaptation of The Mermaids Singing will be shown as a feature film, and it will be followed by a question and answer session with me, Robson Green and, we hope, the director. Many other members of the production team will also be present, including the producer Phil Leach, the executive producer Sandra Jobling and the script executive Simon Wheeler. And the following day, I’ll be taking part in a panel at the festival. But if you can’t make the preview, don’t fret. The ITV broadcasts are due to begin in September, if nothing gets in the way…

News Update From Val McDermid – March 2002

Filming has now finished for the TV adaptation of the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels, Wire in the Blood. We had a brilliant party to celebrate the wrap – yes, I was indeed the woman sitting on the train the next day from Newcastle to Manchester clutching five helium balloons and a plastic Oscar statuette… We’re now in post-production, which sometimes seems to be almost as hard work for the principal players as filming itself. The first finished episode will be delivered to the ITV Network Centre next week, and we’ve all got our fingers crossed that they will love it as much as they did the earlier version they’ve already seen. What happens now is that the other five episodes will be delivered over the coming weeks and the bosses at Network Centre will decide when it’s going to be shown. It’s most likely to be one of the jewels in the crown of the autumn drama season, but we’ll have to wait and see.

There will be a unique chance to see the first two episodes on the big screen as part of the Crime Scene 2002 festival at the National Film Theatre. Wire in the BloodThe Mermaids Singing will be shown as a special premiere there on the evening of Friday July 12th 2002.

News Update From Val McDermid – February 2002

I travelled up to Tyne Tees studios in Newcastle for the read-through of episodes 3 and 4 of the TV series Wire in the Blood, which are the last of the six to be filmed. It’s all a bit confusing, because they’re using this as the overall title for the series, although only two episodes will consist of an adaptation of the novel, The Wire in the Blood. The first two episodes are an adaptation of The Mermaids Singing, the second two are from Wire and the final pair, Justice Painted Blind, are an original script by Alan Whiting based on my characters.

The read-through was great fun — it’s always interesting to see the actors slipping into their roles and hear the script coming to life. We have some great additions to the cast for these two episodes. John Michie, a regular in Taggart, is abandoning his role as a cop to play Jack Vance. Doon McKichan, currently to be seen on Channel 4’s Smack the Pony, is playing his wife, and the third member of the household is being portrayed by Lou Gish — one look at her and you’re in no doubt that her grandmother was silent screen goddess Lillian Gish. I can’t wait to see the finished product, given what a great line-up we have in place.

I’ve been lucky enough to see the director’s cut of the first two episodes, and I have to confess that even though I knew exactly what to expect, I was on the edge of my seat. It’s gripping and sometimes frightening, but it’s also beautifully made and dramatically it works. It’s an anxious process for a writer, watching their novels turned into a different medium, but in this case, it’s been tempered by the respect Coastal Productions have shown for the original work, and the proof of that is in the quality of the end product. I’ve never seen Robson Green perform so well — because of the nature of the part, he can’t be accused of relying on his good looks and personal charisma, and he proves beyond doubt that he’s got real talent and depth as an actor. Hermione Norris is the perfect foil — not only do they make a physically striking partnership, but she brings real intelligence and insight to her role, demonstrating that there’s a lot more to her skills than we got to see in Cold Feet. Originally, the series was to be scheduled for spring, but the bosses at Network Centre have now seen the first two episodes and they’re now talking about holding it back to the autumn schedules, when they can achieve maximum viewing figures. That’s good news for us, but bad news for the viewers, I’m afraid!

News Update – November 2001

Val Mcdermid and Robson GreenFilming began on October 22nd 2001 in Durham and locations around the North-East for the Wire In The Blood TV series starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris.

The overall series title is Wire In The Blood, and the first series will consist of three two-part episodes. First comes the adaptation of The Mermaids Singing, second is the adaptation of The Wire In The Blood and the third is an original script based on the characters, called Justice Painted Blind.

The series will be shown in autumn 2002 on ITV, and we’re all hopeful that it will prove so popular that further series will be commissioned. If that happens, the second series will kick off with an adaptation of the third Tony Hill, The Last Temptation.

Maggie Douglas, The Express

“…With a television series on ITV this year starring Robson Green as Tony Hill, it looks as if there’ll be a new police investigator to replace the lamented Morse.”

Val Said…

I had my moment of glory in the TV adaptation of The Mermaids Singing. I played the role of Journalist One in a scene filmed outside Gateshead Town Hall. My immortal line? ‘Where was he arrested?’ Don’t blink or you’ll miss me!

It was great fun to meet the actors who are bringing Patrick Harbinson’s dynamic script to life. Robson Green is excelling himself in the role of Tony Hill, and Hermione Norris (the blonde one in Cold Feet) is the perfect foil as Detective Inspector Carol Jordan, bringing real intelligence and strength to it. The supporting actors are a great team, playing off each other to give the adaptation tremendous energy. I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing it on screen, which is not something authors can often say.