Former Doctor Who companion Pearl Mackie has joined ITV’s adaptation of crime novel The Long Call as DC Jen Rafferty

 

Filming has begun on the latest ITV drama series based on the novels of Ann Cleeves. The creator of the Vera Stanthorpe novels (on television as Vera) and the Shetland Island series (filmed as Shetland), Cleeves latest book series is the Two Rivers sequence. And already the first Two Rivers novel, The Long Call, is being adapted by ITV. Former Doctor Who star Pearl Mackie, who played Bill Potts in Series Ten, is on board in a lead role. Mackie will be Detective Constable Jen Rafferty, one of the central pair of detectives investigating a brutal killing.

 

ITV’s official description of Mackie’s character reads:

DC Jen Rafferty [is] a tough and fiercely determined woman who has recently relocated to Devon with her two teenage kids, Ella and Ben. As a diligent worker and a single parent Jen muddles her way through domestic life whilst trying to put some distance between her own traumatic scars from her former life living in London.

 

Raffety is teamed up with Detective Inspector Matthew Venn (Ben Aldridge). Though he grew up a member of the local Barum Brethren religious sect he left years ago; its strict rules forbidding his family from all contact with him since. Now he’s moved back home, bringing his husband Jonathan with him. Both Rafferty and Venn are attempting to make new lives for themselves in Devon. But almost immediately they’re plunged into a shocking murder investigation. A case which twists and turns will bring Venn face to face with his past.

 

Pearl Mackie and Ben Aldridge play ITV's latest top detectives in The Long Call (c) ITV Doctor Who Bill Potts
Pearl Mackie and Ben Aldridge play ITV’s latest top detectives in The Long Call (c) ITV

 

The Long Call is directed by Lee Haven Jones, director of Revolution of the Daleks

Also starring in the drama alongside Pearl Mackie and Ben Aldridge is Juliet Stevenson as Venn’s estranged mother. Meanwhile Martin Shaw and Anita Dobson are the Stephensons, the mysterious leaders of the sect. All four episodes are directed by Doctor Who director Lee Haven Jones (Spyfall Part Two, Orphan 55, Revolution of the Daleks). You can read the full Blogtor Who profile on the director here.

The Long Call is filming now. There’s no news, however, on whether it’s intended for transmission later this year or sometime in 2022. In the meantime, fans who like their ITV detective show/Doctor Who crossovers can catch Viewpoint, which starts this Monday at 9pm. It stars former Mickey Smith, Noel Clarke, as a police detective assigned to surveillance on the prime suspect in an abduction case.

 

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Peter Nolan
Peter is a regular contributor to Blogtor Who and has also written for Doctor Who Magazine's Cosplay feature. His art was published in BBC Books' Doctor Who: 100 Illustrated Adventures, while a number of his essays appear in the You and Who series of books. He lives in Ireland with a wife who's remarkably understanding of being dragged across to the UK to take photos of him outside police boxes and a son who was plonked down in front of "Rose" at eight months old and hasn't looked back since.

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