UKTV’s Drama channel joins with US broadcaster MASTERPIECE PBS to co-commission TV adaptation of The Marlow Murder Club

(L-R) Writer Robert Thorogood and Samantha Bond

The two-part drama, written by Robert Thorogood, will star Samantha Bond, Jo Martin, Cara Horgan and Natalie Dew

Monday 5 June 2023

From the creator of global hit Death in Paradise, and the producers of award-winning series Ghosts, comes a newly commissioned TV adaptation of Robert Thorogood's hit novel The Marlow Murder Club (2x120') for UKTV's free-to-air channel, Drama and streaming service UKTV Play. The two-part drama is a co-commission with co-producer and US broadcaster MASTERPIECE, produced by Monumental Television in association with ITV Studios.

Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey, Home Fires) takes the lead as Judith Potts, alongside Jo Martin (Doctor Who, Back to Life) as Suzie Harris, Cara Horgan (The Sandman, Traitors) as Becks Starling and Natalie Dew (Sandylands, The Capture) as DS Tanika Malik. The Marlow Murder Club will air on Drama and UKTV Play in 2024. MASTERPIECE will air the series in four parts on PBS in the US.


(L-R) Jo Martin, Cara Horgan and Natalie Dew

(L-R) Jo Martin, Cara Horgan and Natalie Dew

Robert Thorgood said:

After over a decade of working on Death in Paradise, I'm thrilled to be creating a brand-new murder mystery series for TV. I can't wait for audiences to join Judith, Becks and Suzie on their adventures as they solve a series of fiendishly puzzling murders.

Retired archaeologist Judith Potts (Bond) lives alone in a faded mansion in the peaceful town of Marlow, filling her time by setting crosswords for the local paper. During one of her regular wild swims in the Thames, Judith hears a gunshot coming from a neighbour's garden and believes a brutal murder has taken place.

When the police are reluctant to believe her story, Judith finds herself forming an unlikely friendship with local dog-walker and empty-nester Suzie (Martin) and unfulfilled vicar's wife Becks (Horgan) as they start an investigation of their own. Eventually asked to assist with the official police investigation, headed by newly promoted Tanika (Dew), the women must piece together clues, grill suspect witnesses, and face down real danger as they work against the clock to stop the killer in their tracks.

The Marlow Murder Club has been commissioned by Philippa Collie Cousins, senior commissioning editor, with Pete Thornton, head of scripted, and ordered for Drama by Emma Ayech, channel director, and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. Executive producers for Monumental Television are Debra Hayward, Alison Owen and Alison Carpenter. Susanne Simpson is executive producer for MASTERPIECE. The series will be directed by Steve Barron (The Durrells, Mrs Sidhu Investigates) and produced by Jane Wallbank (Traces, Mrs Sidhu Investigates). Barron and writer Robert Thorogood (creator of Death in Paradise, Beyond Paradise) also serve as executive producers.

Philippa Collie Cousins, senior commissioning editor, said: "After a highly rewarding period of collaboration we are thrilled to be greenlighting Robert Thorogood's adaptation of his hit novel for Drama. The brilliant team at Monumental have found the perfect cast for the show and the perfect director in Steve Barron. I'm very much looking forward to seeing these great scripts burst into life on screen."

Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama, added: "It's an incredibly exciting time for Drama, as we start commissioning UKTV Originals for the channel. Whether you're a fan of the book or new to the adventures of the wonderful Judith Potts, our viewers are in for a real treat."

Debra Hayward, Monumental co-founder, said: "We instantly fell in love with Robert's book, and we're delighted that he is bringing it to the screen with us. Combined with Steve Barron's brilliant directing and our superb cast led by Samantha Bond, we hope that audiences will be as captivated by Robert's Marlow as we are."

Susanne Simpson, MASTERPIECE executive producer, added: "The Marlow Murder Club is exactly the kind of show that our MASTERPIECE Mystery! viewers will love. We're thrilled to be working with Samantha Bond again and to partner with Monumental Television on this exciting new series."

The Marlow Murder Club is a brand-new UKTV Original commission and will air on Drama and UKTV Play in 2024. ITV Studios will handle international distribution.


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For more information, please contact:
Kelly Phelps, Publicity Manager, UKTV

Notes for Editors:

About The Marlow Murder Club
- Over 200,000 copies of THE MARLOW MURDER CLUB sold across all UK editions in the series
- DEATH COMES TO MARLOW (book 2 in the series) came out in January 2023. THE QUEEN OF POISONS (book 3) to be published in January 2024
- UK publisher: HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins
- US publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of Sourcebooks
- Rights sold into 18 territories - that's UK and US, plus 16 translation markets
- International Bestseller in France and Germany

About Drama

Sky 143, Virgin Media 130, Freeview 20, Freesat 158 +1 Sky 243, Virgin Media 226, Freeview, 60

On demand on Sky, Virgin Media & UKTV Play

Free-to-air channel Drama is passionate about bringing Britain the best quality drama. From period to contemporary, family to comedy, the channel is a treasure trove of well-loved classics and modern drama which showcases the greatest stories ever told. With programmes including familiar favourites Call the Midwife, Pride and Prejudice, New Tricks and Silent Witness, and brand new and exclusive hits Sister Boniface Mysteries and The Brokenwood Mysteries, this is the channel where viewers can escape and indulge in a handpicked range of the nation's most celebrated TV dramas.

About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 30 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.

UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC. | | @uktvpress

About Monumental Television

Monumental Television was launched in 2015 by Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning producers Alison Owen (SUFFRAGETTE, THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, JANE EYRE, TEMPLE GRANDIN, SMALL ISLAND, ELIZABETH, SAVING MR. BANKS) and Debra Hayward (BRIDGET JONES'S BABY, HOW TO BUILD A GIRL, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, LES MISE?RABLES).

Monumental Television's credits include three series of Hulu's critically acclaimed HARLOTS, starring Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown Findlay and Liv Tyler, and five series of the twice BAFTA-nominated GHOSTS for BBC1. The US version of GHOSTS is the highest rating comedy this year, and CBS have renewed it for a third season.

Family drama MARYLAND has recently aired to rave reviews on ITV, starring Suranne Jones, Eve Best and Stockard Channing, and crime series MURDER IN PROVENCE, starring Roger Allam, Nancy Carroll and Keala Seale aired on Britbox and ITV in 2022. Also due for release this year is MRS SIDHU INVESTIGATES starring Meera Syal for Acorn. Hayward and Owen also served as Executive Producers on WILL (TNT) and three seasons of the award-winning ANNE WITH AN E (Netflix), Emmy award-winning writer Moira Walley- Beckett's adaptation of the children's classic Anne of Green Gables. SANCTUARY: A WITCH'S TALE by Poldark writer Debbie Horsfield, a brand new series about modern day witches for AMC, is currently in post-production.

Owen and Hayward are also in post-production on BACK TO BLACK, a theatrical movie about the making of the iconic album by Amy Winehouse.


Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys(R) and 18 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971. Susanne Simpson is the executive producer and Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer-at-large for the series. Series funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking Cruises, Raymond James, The MASTERPIECE Trust, and public television viewers. Produced for PBS by GBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is known for hits such as All Creatures Great and Small, Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.