ITV Orders Mandrake; Commences Shooting in London in January

Image Credit: Royal Television Society/YouTube

ITV has ordered a new series titled ‘Mandrake.’ The show is scheduled to commence production in London, England, in January 2024. The series tells the story of the infamous phone hacking scandal in the UK that led to the downfall of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, one of the world’s oldest Sunday newspapers.

Image Credit: Spotlight/YouTube

As per the official logline, this phone hacking scandal first came to light in 2011 when it was disclosed that a private investigator hired by News of the World had unlawfully accessed the voicemail of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old schoolgirl who had been murdered. The scandal led to an investigation which resulted in the arrest of more than 100 individuals. Additionally, Downing Street’s director of communications was imprisoned, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner had to resign, and a public inquiry was conducted into the ethical practices of the British press, which eventually led to the closure of the newspaper.

The series is helmed by Lewis Arnold. He is known for his work in the BBC One anthology series ‘Time,’ which earned him a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Director: Fiction. Arnold has also directed multiple episodes of the E4 sci-fi comedy-drama ‘Misfits,’ the ITV crime thriller series ‘Prey,’ the Channel 4 sci-fi series ‘Humans,’ and the BBC One crime drama ‘Sherwood.’ The rest of his television credits include the shows ‘The Long Shadow,’ ‘Des,’ ‘Cleaning Up,’ ‘Banana,’ ‘Broadchurch,’ and ‘Dark Money.’ Arnold also helmed several short films, including ‘Sunday, Sunday,’ ‘Charlie Says,’ ‘Echo,’ and ‘Stained.’

The cast of the show has not been announced yet. The producers of the project include Abi Bach and Faiza Tovey. Bach is known for producing the shows ‘Best Interests,’ ‘Black Earth Rising,’ ‘And Then There Were None,’ and ‘The Honorable Woman.’ She also served as an associate producer of numerous TV movies including, ‘Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me,’ ‘The Curse of Steptoe,’ ‘Hughie Green, Most Sincerely,’ ‘The Bad Mother’s Handbook,’ and ‘White Girl.’ Tovey is recognized for her work in the shows ‘The Snow Spider,’ ‘You & Me,’ and ‘Litvinenko.’

Since the series is a British production, the shooting is not expected to be affected by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. London, where the shoot is set to take place, is known for its historic and modern settings and vibrant neighborhoods, which makes it the preferred choice of filmmakers to shoot diverse projects. The city also serves as a filming location for another upcoming ITV series, ‘Ruth,’ starring Lucy Boynton.

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