ITV back in the cold with Karen Pirie

By Michael Pickard
June 13, 2024


Filming has started on the second season of Karen Pirie, ITV’s cold case detective drama once again based on the novels by Val McDermid.

Lauren Lyle returns as the fearless Scottish investigator Karen in a three-part drama based on McDermid’s A Darker Domain. It is adapted by series creator Emer Kenny (The Curse, Save Me Too).

L-R: Steve John Shepherd, Zach Wyatt, Emer Kenny, Lauren Lyle, Chris Jenks and Rakhee Thakrar

Also reprising their roles are Chris Jenks as DC Jason ‘Mint’ Murray, Zach Wyatt as DS Phil Parhatka, Steve John Shepherd as DCS Lees, Emer Kenny as River Wilde and Rakhee Thakrar as Bel Richmond, as they reinvestigate the 1984 kidnapping of heiress Catriona Grant and her baby son.

When Catriona, the young heiress to the Grant oil fortune, is kidnapped at gunpoint with her young son, it’s assumed that the motivation is political. The huge investigation creates an uncontrollable press storm… but when the culprits unexpectedly fall silent, the case runs cold. Cat and Adam are never seen again.

Forty years later, when a man’s body is discovered, Karen Pirie is assigned to reopen the case in complete secrecy. With the first key piece of evidence in decades, Karen must try to unlock one of Scotland’s most infamous mysteries, whilst battling increasing media attention. What happened to Cat Grant and why do sinister forces want the secrets of her disappearance to remain hidden?

In the present, Lauren Lyle’s Pirie will be joined by Saskia Ashdown as newcomer DC Isla Stark, James Cosmo and Frances Tomelty as Catriona’s parents, oil magnate Sir Broderick Grant and his ex-wife Mary, and John Michie as Fergus Sinclair, the father of Cat’s son Adam.

At the centre of the police case in 1984 will be Julia Brown as Catriona Grant, Mark Rowley as Mick, Kat Ronney as Bonnie, Conor Berry as Andy and Stuart Campbell as Kevin. Jamie Michie will play young Brodie Grant, Madeleine Worrall will play young Mary Grant and Jack Stewart as young Fergus. The original investigation will be helmed by Thoren Ferguson as DI Anderson and Helena Katamba as DC Laurel Blair.

Produced by World Productions, Karen Pirie will be executive produced by Simon Heath and Emma Luffingham, alongside Emer Kenny and Val McDermid. Gareth Bryn (Line of Duty, The Gathering) will direct alongside Amanda Blue (The Gathering, Maternal) and Marcus Wilson (Doctor Who, Luther) will produce.

Karen Pirie will air on ITV1 and on ITVX. ITV Studios handles global distribution.

Filming has begun in Scotland and will continue in Malta.

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