Mark Gatiss Writing & Starring In UKTV Drama About Crime-Solving Bookshop Owner

EXCLUSIVE: Sherlock star Mark Gatiss is writing and starring in a British TV drama about a bookshop owner who helps police solve crimes.

Bookish will be a six-part series for UKTV crime drama network Alibi set in post-war London in 1946. Gatiss, the co-creator of BBC shows such as Sherlock and The League of Gentlemen and Netflix/BBC’s Dracula and actor in films including Operation Mincemeat and Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoningis the creator.

The series will follow Gabriel Book (Gatiss), an “erudite and unconventional” sleuth who cracks mysterious cases from his antiquated bookshop, using the thousands of books that line his shelves to provide him with the knowledge that he needs. Around him are a gathering of “loveable, damaged misfits who he informally protects, cajoles and mentors.”

Starring alongside Gatiss is Polly Walker (Bridgerton, Line of Duty), who plays Book’s colourful wife Trottie. She is charismatic and adventurous, owns a wallpaper shop next door and loves Book deeply but not physically. They shares a ‘lavender’ marriage, which helps conceals Book’s sexual orientation at a time when it was illegal to be gay.

Guest stars include Joely Richardson (The Gentleman, The Ballad of Renegade Nell), Daniel Mays (The Long Shadow, Code 404) and Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83, Concordia). Other core cast members include Connor Finch (Everything I Know About Love) as Jack, Olivier award-winner Elliot Levey (We Were the Lucky Ones, Quiz) as Inspector Bliss and Buket Kömür (Our House) as Nora.

Each case will span two 70-minute episodes and will, according to producers marry “post-war nostalgia with the reckless and life-affirming atmosphere of the times.”

Hotel Portofino producer Eagle Eye Drama is attached to make the show, which has a 2025 airdate on Alibi. Germany’s Beta Film has international distribution rights. The series is produced in association with Belgium-based Happy Duck Films, which is part of the Eagle Eye stable, and is supported by the Belgian Tax Shelter.

Executive producers for Eagle Eye are Jo McGrath and Walter Iuzzolino, and the series is co-written with Matthew Sweet. Carolina Giammetta (Suspect season 2, Hollington Drive) is the director and Christopher Arcache (Hotel Portofino) is the producer.

UKTV Head of Drama Helen Perry produced commissioned the show, which was ordered by Alibi Channel Director Emma Ayech. The BBC Studios-owned broadcaster is behind crime shows such as the Nicola Walker-starring AnnikaMolly Windsor and Martin Compston vehicle Traces and the Barcelona-set drama The Diplomat.

“UKTV is the home for writers’ passion projects, and we are so proud to be working with the exceptionally talented Mark Gatiss on his, along with the effervescent team at Eagle Eye,” said Perry. “Mark’s unique detective thriller is full of wit and heart, with a central platonic love story that is sure to enthral audiences. And because Book is a gay man, at a time when it was illegal to be so, we are proud that the drama shines a light on an important LGBTQ+ story. The star-studded cast Eagle Eye have already put together is tribute to the sure-fire hit Bookish is to become.”

“To misquote Goodfellas: ‘All my life I’ve wanted to be a detective!’,” said Gatiss. “I couldn’t be more excited to be bringing this series to the screen, and to plunge viewers into our intoxicating version of post-War London. It’s an under-examined time and an under-examined world and Bookish is the strange, funny and thrilling show that I’ve always wanted to make.”

McGrath, Chief Creative Officer for Eagle Eye Drama, added: “There are some characters, some ideas that just leap off the page and demand to be realised. Book, Trottie and the clever crimes Mark Gatiss has woven around the precinct of Archangel Lane is one of those projects. The answer to every crime can be found in a book and in BookishMark Gatiss has created a unique, memorable and stand out new detective series.”

Beta’s Chief Distribution Officer, Oliver Bachert, said the show was “sure to become a great example of a sophisticated crime drama and instant classic for audiences around the world.”

Gatiss is repped by Curtis Brown. Walker is repped by The Artists Partnership.

  • For more: Elrisala website and for social networking, you can follow us on Facebook
  • Source of information and images “deadline”

Related Articles

Back to top button