ITV has commissioned four new episodes of code-breaking thriller The Bletchley Circle starring Anna Maxwell Martin, Rachael Stirling, Sophie Rundle and Julie Graham.
The series, based on the lives of four extraordinary and brilliant women who worked at top-secret HQ Bletchley Park during World War II, will feature two self-contained stories each played out across 2 x 60 minute episodes written by series creator Guy Burt.
The first series of three episodes launched on ITV with an average audience of 5.6m and a 23% share of the available audience making it the best performing new drama series from a share perspective throughout 2012. Amongst new drama titles, only single film Endeavour garnered a higher audience share in 2012.
The first series recently screened in the US to rave reviews. Broadcast by PBS, The Bletchley Circle was given a prestigious Sunday night scheduling slot by the broadcaster alongside Call The Midwife and the first series of ITV’s Mr Selfridge.
Set a year on from the first series in 1953, the ladies are reunited for their second case in the first two-part story when former Bletchley Park colleague, Alice Merren (Olivier-Award Nominated Hattie Morahan) is accused of murder. Jean methodically sets to work examining the evidence and is intent on helping Alice after a distinguished scientist is discovered shot through the heart in the study of his home with Alice, gun in hand, standing over him.
The evidence is stacked against her, but Jean’s instincts tell her differently and she goes to visit Alice in Holloway Prison. Alice is quietly resigned to the fact she will hang. But why has she offered no defence and why does she refuse to talk?
Jean calls on the ladies to reunite, but will they share her faith in Alice’s innocence?
Will the women overcome their fears and risk their burgeoning careers to save Alice’s life as the days to the hanging countdown? And what danger will they face as they uncover not only Alice’s secret, but also a much darker one at the heart of the British Army?
The Bletchley Circle has been commissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Commissioning, Steve November.
“The Bletchley Circle is a wonderful addition to our drama slate last year and we’re delighted that it’s returning to ITV with two new and exciting stories,” said Steve.