Passenger: New darkly comic horror drama series comes to ITV

ITV has announced brand new “darkly comic horror” drama series Passenger.

The six-part series comes from debut screenwriter Andrew Buchan – best known for his acting roles on Broadchurch, The Honourable Woman, ABC Murders – and production company SISTER (This Is Going To Hurt, Chernobyl, Landscapers).

Passenger will air on ITV1, new streaming service ITVX and BritBox internationally.

A synopsis shares: “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.”

Bafta-winning actress Wunmi Mosaku (Loki, Damilola, Our Loved Boy) will take the role of Former Met Police Detective Riya Ajunwa whilst David Threlfall (Shameless, Funny Woman) stars as Jim Bracknell.

Further cast includes Daniel Ryan (The Bay) as Derek Jackson, Rowan Robinson (So Awkward) as Katie Wells, Barry Sloane (Six) as Eddie Wells, Natalie Gavin (Gentleman Jack) as Joanne Wells, Nico Mirallegro (My Mad Fat Diary, Rillington Place) as Kane Jackson, Hubert Hanowicz (This Is Going To Hurt) as Jakub Makowski, Jack James Ryan (Coronation Street) as John Trowbridge, Matilda Freeman (Alma’s Not Normal) as Lilly Wells, Shervin Alenabi (Baghdad In My Shadow) as Mehmet Shah, Ella Bruccoleri (Call The Midwife) as Ali Day and Arian Nik (The Bay) as Nish Chowdry.

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.”

Commented 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.”

Casting and release dates are to be announced.

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