ITV have commissioned Passenger from debut screenwriter Andrew Buchan, who is best known for his acting role on Broadchurch.
Passenger is a 6 x 60 darkly comic horror set in the small Northern village of Chadder Vale, a close-knit community is sent spinning on its axis following a series of strange and unnatural crimes.
After arriving there five years ago, Former Met Police Detective Riya Ajunwa has been searching for that ‘one big crime’, that one challenge that will make her feel alive again.
Then one night local girl, Katie Wells is mysteriously abducted. Her car is found abandoned and there are traces of blood on the seats. But the village barely has time to register Katie’s disappearance before she reappears the next day, safe and sound.
The rest of the villagers ask few questions and life resumes as normal. But for Riya, a relative outsider to the Chadder Vale way of life, none of this sits right. As a series of strange happenings and increasingly horrific crimes start unfolding within the village, the residents start resorting to short-sighted theories and blaming outside influences.
Riya fights hard to convince the villagers that all is not as it seems. And before long she is drawn into a universe unlike anything she has ever seen.
Creator, writer and associate producer Andy Buchan commented: “I’m unbelievably thrilled to be working with SISTER, ITV and BritBox International. I feel very lucky and very flattered they’ve gone with these scripts and I’m going to work my backside off to make them the best they can be...
"I’ve always loved shows where the known collides with the unknown … where you see communities faced with something horrifying and inexplicable, where, as a viewer, you’ve nothing in your kit-bag to explain it...
“When I started writing the scripts, I wanted to create something epic and unknown but also bed it somewhere close to home. Having grown up in Lancashire it felt like the perfect place for it. We’ll definitely see the residents of Chadder Vale pushed to their limits.”
ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill: “Passenger is a brilliant new drama that will premiere on ITVX and a show different to those on the main channel. Andrew Buchan’s brilliant scripts take us into a tight-knit Northern community where the Detective Sergeant Riya Ajunwa, an outsider to the town, has to investigate the strange happenings that are genuinely monstrous...
"I’m excited to be making this and working once again with Jane Featherstone and Sister on a drama that can continually surprise an audience in this very original story.”
SISTER Executive Producers Jane Featherstone and Lucy Dyke commented:
“Andy has an incredible ear for character; brilliantly blending the comedy and idiosyncrasies of everyday life with such a twisted, horrifying vision of such gleeful inventiveness we were blown away...
"The fact this is his first screenplay makes it even more remarkable. We’re so excited by these scripts and thrilled to be partnering with Polly, ITV and the teams at ITVX and BritBox International to bring Chadder Vale in all its dark glory, to life.”
The drama will be filmed later this year in Lancashire. Details of casting and key production personnel will be announced closer to filming commencing.