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Steeltown Murders: BBC One announces new true crime drama

BBC One has announced a brand new factual drama, provisionally titled Steeltown Murders.

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The new series is written by Ed Whitmore (Manhunt, Safe House) and made by Severn Screen (The Pembrokeshire Murders, Hidden/Craith). It will air in 2023 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

A teaser shares: “Set in both 1973 and the early 2000s, Steeltown Murders (w/t) centres on the hunt to catch the killer of three young women in the Port Talbot area and the remarkable story of how – in the first case of its kind – the mystery was solved almost 30 years later using pioneering DNA evidence.

“Contrasting the policing methods of the 1970s with the forensic breakthroughs of the early Noughties, Steeltown Murders (w/t) is a portrait of a town dealing with the repercussions of an unsolved case three decades on, and asks if justice can ever truly be found.”

Philip Glenister (Life On Mars, State Of Play) and Steffan Rhodri (In My Skin, Gavin & Stacey) lead the cast as DCI Paul Bethell and Phil ‘Bach’ Rees, with their younger selves played by Scott Arthur (Good Omens, Borg McEnroe) and Siôn Alun Davies (The Sandman, Hidden) respectively.

They will be joined by Keith Allen (The Pembrokeshire Murders, Marcella), Priyanga Burford (Industry, No Time To Die), Sharon Morgan (Yr Amgueddfa, Gangs Of London), Nia Roberts (Red Rose, Yr Amgueddfa), Elinor Crawley (Vikings, Ordinary Lies), Gareth John Bale (35 Awr, Y Pris), Kriss Dosanjh (The Larkins, Casualty), Matthew Gravelle (Silent Witness, Broadchurch), Amy Morgan (Mr Selfridge, Showtrial), Dyfan Dwyfor (A Very English Scandal, Bang), and more.

Philip Glenister said: “Ed’s scripts are a poignant and compelling read, balancing the tragic events alongside the revolutionary advances in DNA profiling which were crucial in this case and many others since. I’m also very happy to be part of a production filmed in south Wales where I have my own family connections.”

Steffan Rhodri added: “I’m honoured to be teaming up with Marc Evans again to work on this moving new drama. It’s a harrowing story set in the community where I grew up, and the dedication and innovation shown by those who finally cracked the case make it a fascinating venture for me.”

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Writer Ed Whitmore commented: “I was drawn to this tragic true story because it’s ultimately as much about the scarring effects of an unsolved crime on a community as it is the crime itself. The narrative unfolds on two timelines – 1973 and 2002 – and the chance to chart the interweaving lives of our characters across this epic canvas is quite simply a gift to a dramatist.”

Filming is currently underway in and around south Wales, ahead of transmission on BBC One and iPlayer in 2023.

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