ITV commissions Harry Price: Ghost Hunter
“To believe in the paranormal, in the possibility of another world beyond ours – it’s seductive”
ITV has commissioned Harry Price: Ghost Hunter
to be produced by leading independent production company, Bentley Productions.
Set in 1920s London at a time of rapidly emerging technology, the 1 x 120’ film is a stand-alone story based on Britain’s most famous real life ghost hunter and sceptic, Harry Price, who investigated tales of the paranormal and supernatural.
Written by Jack Lothian (Doc Martin, Death in Paradise, Ashes to Ashes) and based on the novel The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring
, Harry Price: Ghost Hunter is a thrilling, spine chilling mix of real history, fiction and the famous legend of Harry Price.
An expert at sleight of hand and with a keen eye for identifying charlatans and tricksters, our story begins as Harry has fallen on hard times in recent years, professionally and ethically losing his way. He’s resorted to making his living as a fake medium and fraudulent ghost hunter, conducting séances for unsuspecting families who think their lives have been made a misery by ghostly mischief making.
Harry’s duplicitous lifestyle has also had serious consequences when after leading a séance for a tragic soldier a young man commits suicide on the doorstep of Harry’s home.
A couple of months later, Harry is offered the chance to investigate the haunting of a local MP’s home as the case threatens to ruin the politician’s reputation. With the prospects of leading his political party, Edward Curtis can ill-afford the scandal as his wife Grace begins to hallucinate and act bizarrely and very much out of character as she believes their family home to be haunted. There’s a possibility Grace may be committed to an asylum in scandalous circumstances if Harry doesn’t take on the investigation. Ghosts from Harry’s past influence his decision to take the case and he begins to think it might be time to take a new path.
Together with the Curtis family maid, Sarah Grey, whose own mother has fallen prey to con artist mediums in the past, their detection and investigative skills complement one another and they make a formidable partnership. Smart, driven and open-minded, Sarah is a strong-minded woman who can handle herself when unravelling the mysteries behind the hauntings, which are seriously affecting Grace’s health and well-being.
Harry also calls on the services of his old friend, Albert, during the investigation. An African pharmacist with a sideline in voodoo con-artistry, Albert has a keen interest in medical and scientific discoveries, which Harry exploits to the maximum.
Journalist Vernon Wall also finds himself in Harry’s orbit. Cynical and hard-bitten, although clever at winning the trust of the people he’s interviewing, Vernon is keen to learn about Harry’s techniques and sensing a political scandal sets out to inveigle his way into his life by extracting information from Sarah.
Harry Price: Ghost Hunter will be executive produced for Bentley Productions by Jo Wright (Midsomer Murders, The Sculptress, Othello) and produced by Denise Paul (Doctor Who).
“It’s a great thrill to be making Harry Price: Ghost Hunter for ITV,” said Executive Producer, Jo Wright. “Bentley Productions is developing a raft of new and exciting projects and this is one of my favourites. To be able to combine the book by Neil Spring with a script by Jack Lothian has been a delight, and we look forward to making this for our ITV audience.”
The film has been commissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Commissioning Victoria Fea.
“Harry Price is an intriguing character at the very heart of the drama,” said Steve. “Jack Lothian’s wonderful script is a skilful blend of fact and fiction as Harry’s past, his fascination with the paranormal and his faith in science are all real yet set against a fictional backdrop of political conspiracy and scandal. We’re delighted to commission this film from Bentley Productions in the hope the audience will be captivated by Harry,” he added.
Details of casting will be made available in the coming weeks with filming for Harry Price: Ghost Hunter taking place in London in September and October 2015.
About Bentley Productions:
Bentley Productions was founded in 1993 and is best known for the internationally successful drama series Midsomer Murders, the UK’s top-rated and No 1 drama export, having sold to over 225 territories.
Described by The Independent as “a jewel in ITV's crown”, the show is now in its 18th series, with Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby and Gwilym Lee as DS Charlie Nelson. John Nettles was the original Inspector Barnaby and stayed for 13 series. Former sidekicks include Daniel Casey as Sergeant Gavin Troy, John Hopkins as Sergeant Dan Scott and Jason Hughes as DC Ben Jones.Bentley Productions also produced ITV action thriller Ultimate Force, starring Ross Kemp, which sold to over 140 territories.
About Neil Spring:
Later this year Neil’s second novel, The Watchers
, will once again be published by Quercus. Based on true events, The Watchers is a "spooky, historical thriller" set during the Cold War in a remote coastal village whose residents live in the shadow of an ancient secret. Neil is Director of Communications for NBCU’s television production business in the UK.
All3Media International will be responsible for overseas distribution and sales of Harry Price: Ghost Hunter.