Disney+ sets Shardlake launch

By Michael Pickard
April 15, 2024

Trailer park

Shardlake, the Tudor murder-mystery based on the novels by CJ Samson, will debut on Disney+ on May 1. Here’s the trailer.

The four-part drama, based on the first novel in Sansom’s series, is described as an eerie whodunnit adventure, set in 16th century England during the dissolution of the monasteries.

Shardlake’s sheltered life as a lawyer is turned upside down when Cromwell instructs him to investigate the murder of one of his commissioners at a monastery in the remote town of Scarnsea. The commissioner was gathering evidence to close the monastery and it is now imperative for Cromwell’s own political survival that Shardlake both solves the murder and closes the monastery. He leaves Shardlake in no doubt that failure is not an option. Cromwell insists that he is accompanied by Jack Barak to Scarnsea, where the duo are met with hostility, suspicion and paranoia by the monks who fear for their future and will seemingly stop at nothing to preserve their order.

Arthur Hughes (Then Barbara Met Alan’) plays Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer with an acute sense of justice and one of the few honest men in a world beset with scheming and plots. Shardlake works for Thomas Cromwell, played by Sean Bean (Time), the dangerous and all-powerful right-hand man to Henry VIII. Anthony Boyle (Masters of the Air) is cocky Jack Barak, who leaves Shardlake unsure of whether he is an assistant, or Cromwell’s spy.

The series also stars Babou Ceesay, Paul Kaye, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, Peter Firth, Matthew Steer, Brian Vernel, Irfan Shamji, David Pearse, Miles Barrow, Mike Noble and Kimberley Nixon.

Shardlake is written by Stephen Butchard (The Good Mothers). The series is executive produced by George Ormond and Mark Pybus for The Forge and Stevie Lee for Runaway Fridge. Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) has directed the series, with John Griffin as producer.

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