(L-R) ‘The Pact’ leads Abbie Hern, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Laura Fraser, Eiry Thomas and Heledd Gwynn.
As Wentworth was coming to an end on Foxtel, its originating screenwriter Pete McTighe was keen to create another female-led ensemble series, but one with a point of difference.
Having lived in Wales for three years, crafting episodes of the BBC’s Doctor Who and the Sky/AMC/BBCAmerica supernatural drama A Discovery of Witches, he came up with the idea of a contemporary crime thriller set in Wales.
He wrote the first episode of The Pact, Cardiff-based Little Door Productions pitched it to BBC Wales and it was quickly commissioned.
Now shooting, the six-part drama directed by Eric Styles (Hidden) and Rebecca Johnson (The Flash) and produced by Catrin Lewis Defis follows five friends who get mixed up in a sudden death and a web of lies.
The leads are played by Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Broadchurch, Coronation Street), Eiry Thomas (Keeping Faith), Heledd Gwynn (Ordinary Lies) and Abbie Hern (The Twilight Zone).
The supporting cast includes Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan), Aneurin Barnard (The Personal History of David Copperfield, Dunkirk), Aled ap Steffan (Gangs of London), Jason Hughes (Midsomer Murders), Mark Lewis Jones (The Crown) and Gabrielle Creevy (In My Skin).
“It’s an idea I’ve had kicking around for a long time so it was just a matter of finding time to sit down and write it,” McTighe tells IF.
“We were due to shoot in March but shut down less than a week before filming was due to start. The shoot has restarted in Cardiff. It’s a contemporary thriller and an emotional rollercoaster. The rushes so far are brilliant.”
It’s the first commission for Little Door Productions, which received funding from Creative Wales. Lionsgate will distribute internationally.
BBC Cymru Wales head of commissioning Nick Andrews said: “The Pact is such an exciting commission for BBC Wales. It builds on our strong portfolio of impactful drama, and like Hinterland, Keeping Faith and Hidden before it, brings together the best in the business to do their best work. It’s a brilliant story and the strong cast and crew make this a highly anticipated series.”
Elwen Rowlands, joint MD of Little Door Productions, added: “We are excited to be working with BBC Cymru Wales on our first production. Pete McTighe has created a gripping drama that delivers a huge emotional punch.”