'The Drowning' on Channel 5 — Everything you need to know about Jill Halfpenny’s gripping drama

Jill Halfpenny heads the cast of The Drowning.
Jill Halfpenny heads the cast of The Drowning. (Image credit: Channel 5)

The Drowning is a new four-part Channel 5 psychological thriller starring Jill Halfpenny.

Packed full of secrets, lies and jaw-dropping twists, it is about a mother’s desperate quest to prove that a teenage boy is her missing child.

Here’s everything we know about the compelling new drama which will be on screen very soon.

What is the release date for The Drowning?

The Drowning will air on Channel 5 nightly from Monday 1st February to Thursday 4th February at 9pm.

What is The Drowning about?

Jill Halfpenny in The Drowning.

Jill Halfpenny plays troubled mum Jodie in The Drowning. (Image credit: Channel 5)

The drama centres on tortured mum Jodie, played by Jill Halfpenny, whose four-year-old son Tom went missing during a family day out at a lake. Some nine years later, she is shocked when she spots a teenage boy, Daniel, going to catch his school bus and a startling resemblance convinces her that he is Tom. 

When nobody believes her, she sets out on a dogged mission to prove that that Daniel is her missing boy, and even tells lies to get a job as his music tutor. But the shocking secret about what really happened at the lake is eventually revealed…

“No one's telling the truth, everyone's living a lie,” says Halfpenny, whose credits include In the Club and Liar.

Who stars in ‘The Drowning’?

Jonas Armstrong in The Drowning.

Jonas Armstrong as Jodie's brother Jason in The Drowning. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Alongside Halfpenny, Silk and Whitechapel’s Rupert Penry-Jones is Mark, the enigmatic father of Daniel, played by newcomer Cody Molko. The Split’s Deborah Findlay is Jodie’s difficult mother Lynn, Cleaning Up’s Jade Anouka is Jodie’s friend and partner in her gardening business Yasmin, RootsBabs Olusanmokun is Ade, one of Jodie’s employees who helps her forge papers to get a job at Daniel’s school, Dominion Creek’s Dara Devaney is Jodie’s ex-partner Ben, Tom’s dad, and The Bay’s Jonas Armstrong is Jodie’s supportive lawyer brother Jason.

“Tom’s disappearance had a huge impact on everybody,” says Armstrong. “But there are twists and turns…”

Is there a trailer?

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Yes, the teaser begins with views of the lake and divers dredging it as a voiceover says that the deceased suffered a tragic accident and drowned. But we then see Jodie trying to explain to Ben what she saw and why she believes Daniel is Tom. She is later shown her worming her way into Daniel’s school and the life he shares with Mark, who is seen getting angry with her for convincing Daniel she is his mother. But danger soon appears to strike…

The Drowning starts on Channel 5 on Monday 1st February at 9pm.

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.