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Critically acclaimed murder drama Karen Pirie returns to Scotland

World Productions has started filming the second series of cold-case murder drama, Karen Pirie, in Scotland.

The 3 x 120minute drama is based on Val McDermid’s A Darker Domain and has been adapted by Emer Kenny (The Curse, Save Me Too).

Lauren Lyle (Outlander, Vigil) returns in the title role, joining her are Chris Jenks (Sex Education, Vigil) as DC Jason ‘Mint’ Murray, Zach Wyatt (Timestalker, The Witcher: Blood Origin) as DS Phil Parhatka, Steve John Shepherd (Harry Potter, Karen Pirie) as DCS Lees, Emer Kenny as River Wilde, and Rakhee Thakrar (Wonka, Sex Education) as Bel Richmond.

“I’ve never related to a character more than Karen Pirie. When she’s laughing, I’m laughing. When she’s stressed, I’m stressed. When she turns to drink… well, you get the idea,” said Writer and Executive Producer, Emer Kenny.

“So I’m delighted to be bringing her back to your screens, now a Detective Inspector with more power, more confidence, and some of the same iconic sweater vests. We have a dazzling cast, an heroic crew, and epic plot-twists. If Karen Pirie isn’t already your favourite detective, I promise she will be soon.”

This new series will see the team reinvestigate the 1984 kidnapping of heiress Catriona Grant and her baby son. The huge investigation creates an uncontrollable press storm, but when the culprits unexpectedly fall silent, the case runs cold and the pair are never seen again. 40 years later, when a man’s body is discovered, Karen Pirie is assigned to reopen the case in complete secrecy. 

“I’ve never been asked so often about when a character is returning to our screens,” said CEO and Executive Producer, Simon Heath at World Productions.

“Well Karen is back again – as whip smart as ever with an intriguing new cold case from the 1980s. Drawn from Val’s terrific novel, Emer’s tremendous scripts have attracted an exciting new guest cast to join our established names. I can’t wait for everyone to see the finished show.”

Emma Luffingham, Head of Development at World Productions will also be an Executive Producer, alongside Emer Kenny and Val McDermid. Gareth Bryn (Line of Duty, The Gathering) will direct with Amanda Blue (The Gathering, Maternal) and Marcus Wilson (Doctor Who, Luther) will produce.

It has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill and Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair-Jones. 

The first series launched with 6.6m viewers and averaged 5.9m across each episode, which made it one of the most watched new dramas on ITV in 2022.

It will air on ITV1 and be available for streaming on ITVX. World Productions are part of ITV Studios.

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