BBC Teases First Look at David Mitchell's 'Ludwig'

David Mitchell as John "Ludwig" Taylor stands on a bridge in 'Ludwig'

David Mitchell as John "Ludwig" Taylor in 'Ludwig'

Colin Hutton/BBC

David Mitchell’s long-awaited return to the BBC has started filming. The project was announced in May 2023, his first since 2016’s Upstart Crow. BBC Comedy Director Jon Petrie announced at the Comedy Festival in Cardiff that one-half of the team who made That Mitchell & Webb Look would return to the Beeb with a brand-new six-part show that was a police procedural mystery series titled Ludwig.

To be fair, police procedurals are some of the highest-rated series in the U.K. (and on television in general). Moreover, starring in mystery series has given more than one British comedian a career makeover as a dramatic actor, from Sanjeev Bhaskar with Unforgotten to Gemma Whelan in The Tower. But for those who worry Mitchell is going for the tough cop routine and hanging up his jokes, there’s no need to be concerned. The man who served Grey Sludge in the Tent during his stint on Celebrity Baking Show would never.

The BBC describes Ludwig as a “genre-bending detective series.” More specifically, Ludwig is a “case-of-the-week mystery-crime-comedy-drama.” (This is my new favorite genre.) In a statement along with the first image from the show, Mitchell said, “I’m delighted to be working in a genre of television that I have loved ever since, at the age of 10, I started watching the Miss Marple adaptations, starring Joan Hickson, with my parents. Sometimes, the only thing that can bring the whole family together is murder.”

The series synopsis is as follows:

When John ‘Ludwig’ Taylor’s identical twin, James, disappears off the face of the earth, John takes over his brother’s identity in a quest to discover his whereabouts. John has never married, never had a family, and never really ventured further than his own front door. Without a computer, mobile phone or even a television, he lives in quiet solitude, designing puzzles for a living, under the nom-de-plume of ‘Ludwig’. However, filling the shoes of your identical twin is one thing - when your twin also happens to be a successful DCI leading Cambridge’s busy inner-city major crimes team, the stakes are much higher. John may be a master of all things cryptic, but can he crack the biggest puzzle of his life?

Mitchell co-stars alongside Anna Maxwell Martin (Line of Duty) as Lucy Betts-Taylor, John’s sister-in-law and wife of his missing brother James. The rest of the stellar cast includes Dipo Ola (We Hunt Together), Gerran Howell (Suspicion), Izuka Hoyle (Boiling Point), Dorothy Atkinson (The Gold), and Dylan Hughes (Maternal).

All six episodes of Ludwig were written by series creator Mark Brotherhood (The Trouble with Maggie Cole), with directors Robert McKillop (Guilt) and Jill Robertson (Dalgliesh) splitting helming duties. Brotherhood and Mitchell executive produce with Kenton Allen, Saurabh Kakkar, Kathryn O’Connor, and Chris Sussman; the producer is Georgie Fallon. Ludwig is a Big Talk Studios associated with That Mitchell & Webb Company production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. ITV Studios will distribute the series internationally. 

Ludwig does not have an American distributor as yet.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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