But their latest investigation offers some hope, delving into the delicate truth of a real-life murder and the devastating circumstances that followed. Here’s everything we know about the series.
Martin Freeman (left) stars as DS Steve Fulcher and Jo Absolom (right) plays murderer Christopher Halliwell
What’s the story of A Confession?
In 2011, the 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan went missing in Swindon. DS Steve Fulcher was put in charge of the case, which involved a thousand police officers searching for O'Callaghan. Eventually, the taxi driver Christopher Halliwell was arrested… but not immediately taken to the police station.
Fulcher took Halliwell to a secluded castle and extracted a confession – not only to O’Callaghan’s murder, but also the murder of Becky Godden who’d disappeared in 2003. Breaking police procedure, Fulcher was forced to resign because of the controversy.
The controversy of the Sian O'Callaghan case forced Fulcher to resign
Martin Freeman, who plays Fulcher in the series,
talked to Culture Whisper about his role.
‘I’m not a lawyer or a policeman,’ said Freeman, ‘but I can’t see, morally,
that [Fulcher] did something terrible. He got a man into a state where [he]
volunteered information that turned out to be true. If he hadn’t done it, then
a family would be without the knowledge of their daughter.’
The six-part series won't simply
tackle the manhunt, it follows the implications of finding the killer in the
‘wrong’ way. Should coppers be allowed to bend the rules for a needed result,
as long as the ends justify the means?
‘Pretty hard to argue that he’d done something
heinous.’ says Freeman, ‘Unwise? Possibly. Naive? Possibly. [But] not rankly
Freeman: 'I can't see, morally, that [Fulcher] did something terrible'
Who’s in the cast for A Confession?
Imelda Staunton plays Karen Godden, whose daughter was murdered in 2003
With the subject matter and the pressure of
portraying real people, Freeman found the job more exhausting than usual: ‘I was
more tired on this job than I’ve been for ages. It wasn’t like it was a more
crazy schedule. But I was really shattered every day. It’s heavy, it’s a lot of
lines, it’s a lot of mental energy.'
He continues: 'It kinda felt like a return to a
style of performing I have done before, but maybe not for a while. I did no
acting. It has to look real. In this play, you have to not do anything, which
is… well, it’s a lot harder than it looks.’
Also starring in the series is Florence Howard (Dead Pixels) as Sian O’Callaghan, Siobhan Finneran (The Widow, Apostasy) as O’Callaghan’s mother Elaine, and Jo Absolom (Doc Martin) as the murderer Christopher Halliwell.
Siobhan Finneran as Elaine, Sian O'Callaghan's mother
Who’s writing and directing A Confession?
Jeff Pope wrote and created the series. He’s previously written the recent ITV drama Hatton Garden, last year's Laurel & Hardy biopic Stan and Ollie, and the Judi Dench drama Philomena.
Directing every episode is Paul Andrew Williams, who was a significant part of Strangers and Broadchurch season 3. Freeman says of Pope and Williams: ‘[They were] a big part of my decision to do it. You feel in safer hands. I’m delighted with what Paul has done with it. It has totally the tone I hoped it would. It doesn’t feel like a drama.’
What's the A Confession release date?
An exact date hasn't been announced as of yet, but it'll broadcast during the Autumn chill of early September. Watch the trailer below.
|What||Martin Freeman discusses A Confession, ITV|