ITV Drama ‘Karen Pirie’

ITV cold case murder drama, ‘Karen Pirie’

Juliet Stevenson

(May 2021)

Lauren Lyle to star as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama, ‘Karen Pirie’

 

Lauren Lyle to star as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama, based on acclaimed author Val McDermid’s The Distant Echo, adapted by Emer Kenny.

Outlander star Lauren Lyle will take the lead role of Karen Pirie in a new ITV drama series from the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, World Productions.

True to Val McDermid’s iconic character, DS Karen Pirie is a young and fearless Scottish investigator with a quick mouth and tenacious desire for the truth.

Adapted by Emer Kenny (Harlots, Save Me Too) who will also take the role of Karen’s friend River Wilde, Karen Pirie also stars Chris Jenks (Sex Education) as Jason ‘Mint’ Murray and Zach Wyatt (Blithe Spirit) as DS Phil Parhatka.


The Distant EchoThe series is based on Val McDermid’s first Karen Pirie novel The Distant Echo, and in the first episode Karen is tasked with reopening an historic murder investigation that has been the subject of a provocative true-crime podcast.

When teenager Rosie Duff (Anna Russell-Martin, Casualty) 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, Pancake) Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie (Jack Hesketh, Besa) and Alex Gilbey (Buom Tihngang, Death In Paradise). 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?

Further cast includes Michael Schaeffer (The Salisbury Poisonings) as Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie senior, Ariyon Bakare (His Dark Materials) as Alex Gilbey senior and Alec Newman (Unforgotten) as Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz senior.


Karen Pirie (3 x 120 minutes) has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill. Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair-Jones will oversee production from the channel’s perspective.

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