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Mark Gatiss to write and star in Bookish, a brand-new detective drama for Alibi

10/04/2024

Wednesday 10 April 2024 UKTVs catalogue of original drama continues to grow, with the commission of six-part series, Bookish (6x70) for its specialist crime drama channel Alibi. The UKTV original series has been created by Emmy Award-winning writer Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Sherlock) and is produced by Eagle Eye Drama. As international partner, Beta Film will handle the world sales.

Mark Gatiss writes and stars as the erudite and unconventional Gabriel Book who, from his antiquarian bookshop, helps the police to solve a variety of mysterious crimes. With three main cases in the series, each storyline spans two-episode instalments. The series will air on Alibi in 2025.

Mark Gatiss said

To misquote Goodfellas: All my life Ive wanted to be a detective! I couldnt be more excited to be bringing this series to the screen, and to plunge viewers into our intoxicating version of post-War London. Its an under-examined time and an under-examined world and Bookish is the strange, funny and thrilling show that Ive always wanted to make.

Starring alongside Mark Gatiss will be Polly Walker (Bridgerton, Line of Duty) who plays Books colourful wife Trottie. Bookish will also feature a wealth of guest stars, including Joely Richardson (The Gentleman, The Ballad of Renegade Nell), Daniel Mays (The Long Shadow, Code 404) and Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83, Concordia). Other returning core cast members include Connor Finch (Everything I Know About Love) as Jack, Olivier award-winner Elliot Levey (We Were the Lucky ones, Quiz) as Inspector Bliss and Buket K m r (Our House) as Nora.

London, 1946 is the dynamic, dangerous and chaotic setting for this stylish new detective drama, with the eccentric Gabriel Book (Gatiss) at the very heart of the story: a self-appointed consultant detective to the local police. The thousands of books that line the shelves of his shop provide him with all the knowledge he needs.

Book has gathered around him a host of lovable, damaged misfits whom he informally protects, cajoles, and mentors. His wife Trottie (Walker) runs the wallpaper shop next door. Shes a charismatic adventuress whom Book loves deeply but not physically, for they are in a lavender marriage to help conceal Books sexual orientation in a time when it was illegal to be gay.

Bookish marries post-war nostalgia with the reckless and life-affirming atmosphere of the times, creating a fast-paced and stylish detective drama.

The UKTV Original series has been commissioned by Helen Perry, head of drama for UKTV, and ordered by Emma Ayech, channel director for Alibi, and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. Executive producers for Eagle Eye Drama are Jo McGrath and Walter Iuzzolino. The series is co-written with Matthew Sweet and will be directed by Carolina Giammetta (Suspect S2, Hollington Drive) and produced by Christopher Arcache (Hotel Portofino).

Helen Perry said: UKTV is the home for writers passion projects, and we are so proud to be working with the exceptionally talented Mark Gatiss on his, along with the effervescent team at Eagle Eye. Marks unique detective thriller is full of wit and heart, with a central platonic love story that is sure to enthral audiences. And because Book is a gay man, at a time when it was illegal to be so, we are proud that the drama shines a light on an important LGBTQ+ story. The star-studded cast Eagle Eye have already put together is tribute to the sure-fire hit Bookish is to become.

Emma Ayech added: The story and setting of this brand-new drama is perfect for the Alibi audience and Im excited to see how the wonderful cast and crew bring it to life on screen. We have a wealth of UKTV original dramas coming down the track and Im thrilled were adding this fantastic addition into the mix.

Jo McGrath, chief creative officer for Eagle Eye Drama said: There are some characters, some ideas that just leap off the page and demand to be realised. Book, Trottie and the clever crimes Mark Gatiss has woven around the precinct of Archangel Lane is one of those projects. The answer to every crime can be found in a book and in Bookish, Mark Gatiss has created a unique, memorable and stand out new detective series.

Oliver Bachert, chief distribution officer, Beta Film commented: With Bookish, we are thrilled to unveil a truly unique and compelling series that blends a classic detective story with the rich tapestry of post-war London, brought to life by the brilliant Mark Gatiss. With its mix of mystery, history, and heartfelt drama, it is another milestone in our successful partnership with Eagle Eye Drama. Bookish is sure to become a great example of a sophisticated crime drama and instant classic for audiences around the world. Were proud to bring this exciting series to the global stage.

The series is being produced in association with Happy Duck Films and is supported by the Belgian Tax Shelter.

Bookish is the latest UKTV Original drama for Alibi. Other recently announced series include I, Jack Wright, written by Chris Lang and starring Nikki Amuka-Bird and John Simm. The Red King, starring Anjli Mohindra, Adjoa Andoh and Marc Warren, will air later this month on Alibi.

_

For more information, please contact: Kelly Phelps, Publicity Manager, UKTV

Notes for Editors:

About Alibi

Sky 109/826, Virgin 126/200, BT 312/382, TalkTalk 312, TV Player On demand on Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk

Alibi is the only TV channel dedicated to crime drama, investigating the best selection from the genre and premiering hit series from around the world such as CSI: Vegas, So Help Me Todd, Dark Winds and Black Sands.

Alibis offering of UKTV Original crime drama series give viewers guaranteed thrills, twists and turns through hit shows including Annika, starring Nicola Walker, Traces, starring Molly Windsor and Martin Compston and We Hunt Together, starring Eve Myles and Babou Ceesay. So
LINK: https://corporate.uktv.co.uk/news/article/mark-gatiss-write-star-booki...
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