Bergerac is reimagined by BlackLight TV in a brand-new series for UKTV’s free streaming service UKTV Play and free-to-air channel Drama

12 April, 2024

 UKTV joins with Banijay UK on the 6×60’ series, written by Toby Whithouse

Detective Jim Bergerac will be returning to the iconic setting of Jersey, as UKTV announces the commission of a re-imagined series of Bergerac (6×60’) for free streaming service UKTV Play and free-to-air channel Drama.

The six-part UKTV Original series is produced by BlackLight TV, part of Banijay UK, and written by Toby Whithouse (The Red King, Being Human), alongside Brian Fillis (Trust, Sirens), Catherine Tregenna (The One That Got Away, Three Pines) and Polly Buckle (Love Rat, A Discovery of Witches). Filming will begin this summer, with locations including the Channel Island of Jersey. Casting to be announced in the coming months. Banijay Rights will handle international distribution for the series.

Toby Whithouse said:

“It’s a rare honour to bring back a show as beloved and iconic as Bergerac. Our mission was always to respect the show’s history and legacy, while making it impactful and relevant for a modern-day audience. We’ll be bringing back other beloved supporting characters, as well as introducing new friends and foes.  Just like his predecessor, our Bergerac is complex, driven, brilliant and flawed.”

Bergerac will be based on the original series created by Robert Banks Stewart, which starred John Nettles and ran for nine series on the BBC between 1981 and 1991. The modern re-imagining will honour the iconic detective drama, but with a contemporary twist, as Bergerac thrown into a knotty, high-stakes police investigation and challenged to his very core. He will be forced to confront his demons, while trying to save his family and career.

Unlike the original hit from the 80s, the new series will see one character-led murder mystery run across all six episodes, in place of a new storyline each episode.

Bergerac has been commissioned by Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning for UKTV, and ordered by Paula Fitzgerald, head of digital content for UKTV Play, and Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama. Executive producers for BlackLight TV are Ben Bickerton, Philip Trethowan and Toby Whithouse. Brian Constantine is executive producer for Westward Studios. Helen Perry, head of drama, will be executive producer for UKTV.

Hilary Rosen said:

“We are delighted to be working with BlackLight TV and Banijay on this re-imagining of a much-loved classic British drama. There is a keen appetite for UKTV Original dramas, as seen by the stellar performance of The Marlow Murder Club, and Bergerac will help us to build off the back of such a successful start to our commissioning journey for Drama and UKTV Play.”

Paula Fitzgerald added:

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for UKTV Play, as we gear up for the launch of our masterbrand U’ in the summer. Drama content is a key driver for audiences of our free streaming service, so I can’t wait to add this brilliant new series to our content offering.”

Emma Ayech said:

The Marlow Murder Club, our first UKTV Original commission for Drama, has been incredibly well received by our audience so I’m looking forward to adding this brilliant new series to our offering.”

BlackLight TV commented:

“We are thrilled to be working with UKTV to bring Jim Bergerac back to the small screen where he belongs. Toby Whithouse has created a propulsive contemporary crime story that delves into Bergerac’s rich and complex character, and will keep audiences guessing until the end. We’re sure it will delight old and new fans alike.”

Bergerac is a brand-new UKTV Original commission and will stream for free on UKTV Play and air on Drama in 2025. Other original series include the TV adaptation of Robert Thorogood’s hit novel, The Marlow Murder Club, starring Samantha Bond, Jo Martin, Cara Horgan and Natalie Dew, which has become Drama’s best performing title of all time, reaching over 1.9million viewers since its launch earlier this month.

UKTV will launch ‘U’ – a new masterbrand, which will unite its family of free-to-air channels and its free streaming service this Summer.  UKTV Play will transition to ‘U’ and UKTV’s free-to-air channels will become U&DAVE, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W.