Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton will star in A Confession, a new drama for ITV.
Co-produced by ITV Studios and Urban Myth Films, the six-part series tells the story of how Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, played by Martin Freeman (StartUp, The Hobbit, Sherlock, Fargo), deliberately breached police procedure and protocol to catch a killer – a decision that ultimately cost him his career and reputation.
Set in Swindon, Wiltshire, A Confession details the disappearance of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan in March 2011. On a night out with girlfriends, Sian left a nightclub in Swindon Old Town to walk the 15 minutes home to boyfriend Kevin Reape, played by Charlie Cooper (This Country). Worried for her safety, Kevin reports Sian missing when she fails to come home in the early hours or respond to his increasingly frantic texts.
With the police investigation underway, officers arrive on the doorstep of Sian’s mother, Elaine O’Callaghan, played by Siobhan Finneran (Cold Feet, The Moorside, Happy Valley), who initially thinks her daughter must have stayed overnight with a girlfriend. Described as a ‘family girl’, it was uncharacteristic of Sian to be out of touch with her loved ones.
Senior Investigating Officer Steve Fulcher leads a team which begins to piece together Sian’s last movements. Believing Sian may still be alive, Fulcher operates on the premise that Sian is being held somewhere against her will. If she is, he knows it will be a race against time.
Meanwhile, Karen Edwards, played by Imelda Staunton (Maleficent, Paddington, Harry Potter, Vera Drake, The Girl), the mother of Becky Godden, a 20-year-old who disappeared a decade previously in 2003, is watching the investigation unfold on the local news and in the town centre. Reminded of Becky’s disappearance, she becomes gripped by fear that her daughter will somehow be involved in what is unfolding.
The drama will be filmed in Wiltshire and the Home Counties with Paul Andrew Williams (Strangers, Broadchurch) directing each of the six episodes. The drama is written by Jeff Pope (Little Boy Blue), who exec-produces for ITV Studios, alongside Johnny Capps (Merlin, Atlantis and Sugar Rush) and Julian Murphy (Atlantis, Merlin and Demons) for Urban Myth Films, and Tom Dunbar as Producer.
“I found this is a fascinating story to tell on a number of levels,” says Pope. “It brings into question how we want our police to behave when someone goes missing. Should Fulcher have been praised as a courageous officer fighting for the life of a girl, or lose his career for riding rough shod over the law?”