Advanced Television

Shetland lead writer to create TV series based on Morrow books

March 8, 2023

Having helmed Shetland from the start to series seven, BAFTA-winning screenwriter and executive producer David Kane is developing the five book Morrow series into a multi-season TV series, set in Glasgow.

Award winning author Denise Mina is one of Scotlands most influential crime writers at home and internationally, described by Val McDermid as ‘crime writing royalty’. Kane and Mina previously worked together on BBC Drama cult hit The Field of Blood, which starred Jayd Johnson, Peter Capaldi and David Morrissey.

Characterised by a Glaswegian ‘no-filter’ directness, and an ability to mentally retain and card index the smallest detail from a case, DS Alex Morrow is formidable at solving crimes. But recent trauma means Morrow can’t face talking to her husband, or bear to sleep in the family home. 

Morrow’s secret younger half-brother Danny provides a sofa and is a genuine confidant, but it quickly becomes apparent that as a cop she can’t be seen with him… or especially their parent in common.  

Morrow’s an outsider who wants to be an insider, paired with the far less capable but on message and true-blue Bannerman. The son of a leading cop, he ironically longs to be seen as less a part of the firm.

As the pair investigate an attack and abduction on a South Asian family in Season One, titled Still Midnight, questions arise about whether  their ambitious Machiavellian boss McKechnie has their backs. Or if he is just enjoying playing them off against each other for his own entertainment and highly questionable ends.

The show which is not yet attached to a broadcaster will be jointly exec produced by Mina, Kane and Freedom’s Creative Director, Mike Ellen.  

Author, Denise Mina commented: You’d be hard pressed to fit a Rizla between my writing and Davie Kane’s, and I’m well aware that I’m bigging myself up in saying that.  He’s a funny, brutal, wild writer and I’m honoured whenever our names are put together.”

Screenwriter, David Kane, said: “I’m very attracted by the opportunity to present a version of modern multi-cultural Glasgow, but one that doesnt shy away from the citys past. It is different, more diverse, but still has that dark underbelly of crime. The criminals and the police know each other, sometimes they mix socially, and with Alex Morrow and her half-brother Danny, we take it even further – theyre family. It is such rich territory for a writer. And most of all, I love Denise Mina, and adapting her work feels very natural to me. I can find the voice of her characters easily, and always enjoy doing so.”

Freedom Scripted MD, Mike Ellen, added: We’re thrilled to be bringing the formidable talents of Denise and Davy back together. Morrow promises to be one of the most complex and exciting detective characters brought to screen; suffice it say she’s got a lot going on. The diverse city we live and work in is the one of the best in the world to set a propulsive crime thriller, and it’s been ridiculously underused for this genre in recent years. This will be Glasgow with grit and glamour, ready to kick off at a moment’s notice.”

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