Anna Maxwell-Martin turns exorcist in new ITV crime drama

Anna Maxwell-Martin will play an exorcist in ITV Encore's new drama Midwinter of the Spirit.

The Bafta-winning actress, whose credits include Death Comes to Pemberley and The Bletchley Circle, will play single mother and country vicar Merrily Watkins, who raises eyebrows within her community and her own family by also carrying out exorcisms. However, her talents come to the fore when the police need her to help solve a murder that she believes is connected to satanists.

The three-part series, which is based on novels by Phil Rickman, co-stars David Threlfall as Merrily's mentor Reverend Huw Owen, while former Downton Abbey actress Siobhan Finneran and Law & Order: UK's Ben Bailey Smith also appear.

“Midwinter of the Spirit is a contemporary and edgy drama which draws upon dark, pagan forces which are intriguing and spiritually frightening,” said Steve November, ITV's Director of Drama Commissioning.

“We’re delighted to commission three episodes of a potentially returnable crime drama with a supernatural twist.”

Midwinter of the Spirit will begin filming in Hereford this month. No broadcast date has yet been announced.


Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.