Martin Clunes is working on a new crime drama called Out There, with the team behind hit ITV show Manhunt.
With last year's second series of Manhunt, in which Clunes played real-life detective DCI Colin Sutton, now looking likely to be the final one, the Doc Martin star has turned his attention to a new project.
His new series will be written by Ed Whitmore, who wrote both series of Manhunt, and directed by Mark Evans, who also worked on the show.
"We just loved working together and we have a commission for a series about county lines drug dealing in Welsh agricultural community," explains Martin. "It has a working title of Out There and we're hoping to put a spin on the realities of farming, as we put a spin on the realities of policing with Manhunt."
Clunes played DCI Colin Sutton in two series, recreating two of his most famous investigations. In 2019 we saw him on the trail of serial killer Levi Bellfield, while last year he was hunting South London's infamous "Night Stalker".
"ITV and Colin would love to do a third series of Manhunt," says Martin. "But the show was based on Colin's real cases and we can't start doing made-up Colin Sutton cases — unless we start doing some of the traffic offences. Although Colin's convinced he's going to persuade us with something, so I would never say never!
"It's an awful thing to say, but there was a way of dramatising the first two investigations and we combined that with things that were happening to Colin in his professional life and his personal life, especially the second series, which went in tandem with him retiring. It would be awful to do a bad one. We wouldn't do that!"
We may have seen the last of Colin Sutton on our screens, yet Martin will always hold a special place in his heart for the detective.
"It'll be a shame if there aren't anymore," he says. "Television usually gets the detectives it wants and people were taken with those shows and they also invested quite heavily in Collin as a bloke."
Martin Clunes returns to our screens on Thursday 13 Jan. in ITV's Martin Clunes Islands of the Pacific. Martin will also be seen in Doc Martin season 10.
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