Acclaimed screenwriter and executive producer, Patrick Harbinson (Homeland, Fearless, 24, ER) is to adapt Kate London's first novel for ITV.
The Tower is based on Post Mortem, the first in Kate London's Metropolitan series of novels featuring Sergeant Sarah Collins and rookie Lizzie Griffiths. Harbinson will executive produce alongside Mammoth Screen's founder and CEO Damien Timmer (The Serpent, Endeavour) and Karen Thrussell (Poldark, And Then There Were None)
The Tower has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill, who will oversee the three-part drama for the channel and is produced by Windhover Films and Mammoth Screen in association with ITV Studios.
Kate London is a former Met Police Officer who finished her career working as part of a Major Investigation Team on the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.
Commented Kate London:
"In 2006 I ran away from the circus to join the police. Within a matter of weeks I was writing - not for publication, but because I just had to get down on paper the world I encountered: its complexity, laughter, loyalty, the moral conflicts and the dangers that were not only physical. Policing showed me London in a way no other job could. The product of this experience was my first novel, Post Mortem. After a fierce bidding war, I chose Patrick Harbinson to bring the book to screen. I was persuaded not only by his outstanding track record, but by his passionate engagement with the characters and the choices they face. I am thrilled and honoured that Patrick and the high-calibre team at Mammoth and ITV have come together to bring my characters to life on the screen."
Paul Testar (The Serpent) is producer, Sherie Myers (I May Destroy You) is co-producer, and Jim Loach (Save Me Too) is director.
In The Tower's breath-taking opening sequence, a veteran beat cop and a teenage girl fall to their deaths from a tower block in south-east London. Left alive on the roof are a five-year-old boy and rookie police officer Lizzie Griffiths. Within hours, Lizzie has disappeared, and Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins is charged with leading the investigation. She not only has to track down Lizzie before she comes to serious harm, but also to uncover the truth behind the grisly deaths. What chain of events took two police officers and two children to the roof of that tower block - why did two of them die? Why did two of them survive?
Commented writer and executive producer Patrick Harbinson:
"After six years on Homeland, I wanted to get back to my roots and write something firmly based in the UK. As soon as I read Kate London's beautifully written novels I knew they were it. They are authentic, funny, crammed with original characters, and they tell intense and challenging stories. I know that audiences will fall in love with Kate's two wonderful protagonists Sarah and Lizzie, just as I have. I am delighted to be working with Damien and my friends at Mammoth Screen again."
Commented ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill:
"I am excited to bring Kate London's compelling novel to the screen. Patrick has done a brilliant adaptation which highlights the difficult moral questions that the novel asks about policing in contemporary London. This promises to be a powerful and original new police drama and I'm proud to have it on ITV."
The antagonistic relationship between the experienced Sergeant Sarah Collins and the novice cop Lizzie Griffiths is at the heart of London's novels and The Tower. What happened on the roof of the tower is the mystery that Sarah must uncover. When it's finally revealed, the truth will cast its shadow over Sarah and Lizzie's relationship and their lives.
Commented Damien Timmer, Executive Producer on behalf of Mammoth Screen:
"Kate London's novels have everything – proper authenticity, rich characters and page-turning stories. It's a privilege to be bringing them to the screen, and to be working with Patrick Harbinson again. Jim Loach is a director we both greatly admire and we're very happy he's at the helm!"