If you’ve not seen The Stranger yet you need to head over to Netflix and start binging – a warning, though, it’s seriously addictive.
The series follows lead character Adam Price (Richard Armitage) as his life is turned upside down by a stranger (Hannah John-Kamen), when she tells him a shocking secret about his wife Corrine (Dervla Kirwan).
Our region plays a central role in the series, as the vast majority of scenes are shot in Greater Manchester. Places like Bolton, Stockport, Bury, Eccles, Whalley Range and Ancoats were used to recreate the fictional town of Cedarfield – here’s our full article on all the places it was filmed around here.
If you have watched it, and were as addicted as I was, then there’s some good news for you, as the show’s creator has another Netflix thriller in the pipeline.
Author Harlan Coben’s 2007 book The Woods is currently being adapted, with Coben on board as executive producer – this time, however, the action is taking place over in Poland.
People spotted a mysterious listing for the new series on Netflix, and when one shared a screenshot on Twitter Coben replied with: “My advice? Put this on your Netflix ‘remind me’ or watchlist now.”
From the screenshot it appears The Woods will be out this year, and it sounds just as gripping as The Stranger: “A Warsaw prosecutor’s hopes rise when a body is found and linked to his sister’s disappearance 25 years earlier.”
Deadline has released some more details about the plot, revealing it will take place in both 1994 and 2019, and that it focuses on a Warsaw prosecutor called Paweł Kopiński whose sister disappeared in the woods at summer camp 25 years ago.
When the body of the boy who disappeared alongside his sister is discovered, Paweł finds evidence that she may be alive.
Director Leszek Dawid said: “The Woods is a story full of secrets – a story you will want to follow. Try as hard as you might to bury unresolved issues from the past, but one day they will find their way back to you anyway.
“What I find fascinating is the way the film deals with the idea of a carefree adolescence. Looking back at the time in your life when you lived your most beautiful but, at the same time, your most atrocious experiences. Learning the truth. You cannot go any further without doing that.”
I can’t wait for this one…
Sheridan Smith to star in ITV’s ‘gripping’ new Manchester-made drama
“Can’t wait to start filming on this thrilling, complex story”
A brand new ITV drama from the team behind The Stranger is set to start filming this year, with BAFTA award-winning actress Sheridan Smith starring in it.
No Return is going to be produced by Manchester-based executive producers Nicola Shindler and Richard Fee (The Stranger, Safe), while Hannah Quinn (The Stranger, Safe) will direct the series.
It follows the huge success of Manchester-born writer Danny Brocklehurst’s previous projects – such as Shameless, The Stranger and Safe.
The new four-part series is set to be absolutely ‘gripping’ as it follows the tale of a family holiday to Turkey which soon turns into a nightmare.
The synopsis reads: “Looking forward to an all-inclusive luxury break to enjoy the sun and sea with the family, Kathy and Martin, their son Noah and younger daughter Jess are blissfully unaware of the horrific ordeal about to unfold.
“The holiday is a chance to unwind and for Kathy and Martin to spend some much-needed family time. Until unsuspecting Noah accepts a seemingly innocent invitation to a beach party from a fellow holidaymaker, Rosie, who is staying at the same hotel, and Kathy and Martin’s world spectacularly falls apart.
“An arrest, an expensive and alien legal system, looming media coverage and resistance from fellow holidaymakers to come to their aid leaves the distraught parents fighting for Noah’s freedom when ironically he should be at school sitting his latest exams.”
Speaking of the upcoming project, lead actress Sheridan Smith said: “I’m such a big fan of Danny Brocklehurst and Red Production, they make incredible dramas.
“I was thrilled to be asked to play Kathy in this exciting production and to be at ITV again. Can’t wait to start filming on this thrilling, complex story about family finding their way through a terrifying situation.”
Manchester writer Danny Brocklehurst commented: “No Return is truly a passion project for me. It’s the story of a family caught in a modern nightmare but it allows us to explore themes of parenthood, justice, addiction and consent.
“I am delighted to be working with the amazing Sheridan Smith and once again partnering with ITV, and the brilliant Nicola Shindler and Hannah Quinn.”
The series is set to begin filming this summer.
ITV’s new drama about the ‘worst serial killer Wales has ever seen’ starts tonight
“Two unsolved double murders from the 1980s cast a shadow over the work of the Dyfed Powys police force”
The Pembrokeshire Murders starring Luke Evans starts on ITV tonight and it promises to be your next favourite series.
Airing over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, The Pembrokeshire Murders follows Welsh actor Luke Evans as Senior Investigating Officer, Steve Wilkins as he reopens two unsolved double murders in Wales.
The synopsis reads: “Two unsolved double murders from the 1980s cast a shadow over the work of the Dyfed Powys police force. In 2006, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins decided to reopen both cases,
“Employing pioneering forensic methods, Wilkins and his handpicked team found microscopic DNA and fibres that potentially linked the murders to a string of burglaries committed in the 80s and 90s.
“The perpetrator of those robberies was nearing the end of his prison sentence, but if Steve Wilkins was right, he was also a serial killer… Could Steve and his team find enough forensic evidence to charge their suspect before he was released to potentially kill again?”
Keith Allen plays John Cooper, the Welsh serial killer who was given life in 2011 for the 1985 double murder of siblings Richard and Helen Thomas and the 1989 double murder of Peter and Gwenda Dixon.
The true story gained significant media attention at the time when it was discovered that John had appeared on Bullseye in 1989, a factor which later became a crucial element in his identification.
Speaking about the show, Luke Evans admitted he was hooked from the start: “The story hooked me immediately. I mean, also, I’m a sucker for a true story and this isn’t just a true story, it’s a shocking, true story about the worst serial killer that Wales has ever seen.
“I got to use my own Welsh accent for the first time in many, many, many years and it was a great experience all around.”
He continued: “These stories do feel like they can’t be true, they can’t be real. But this one has so many twists and turns and it almost feels many, many times during the story that the whole thing is going to go cold once again, because the forensic evidence is so minimal and the budgets were running out and people were losing faith.”
The Pembrokeshire Murders airs tonight (Monday 11th January) at 9pm on ITV.
Gogglebox star ‘unrecognisable’ after shaving his head completely
‘Oh wow, you look fab’
One Gogglebox star has been branded ‘unrecognisable’ after completely shaving his head.
Stephen Webb, who features on Gogglebox with husband Daniel Lustig, recently shared his new dramatic look on Instagram.
The Brighton-based couple are both hairdressers and after viewers recently claimed Stephen ‘looked like Ken Barlow’ with his long hair, he’s decided to chop it all off.
The 48-year-old grabbed a razor and shaved right down the middle of his head.
Sharing the post to his Instagram followers, one has replied ‘OMG….why?’, while another said ‘love it bruv’.
A third said: “Looks good, makes you look younger and I don’t mean to offended you but you’ve got sexy straight vibes going”. A fourth commented ‘oh wow, you look fab’.
Stephen joined Gogglebox as part of the original lineup in the very first series in 2013, but his husband Daniel only joined in 2019.
The new series is set to begin in February on Channel 4.