Siobhan Finneran, Katherine Kelly, and Nadine Marshall to Star In Upcoming ITV Thriller 'Protection'

Siobhan Finneran and Katherine Kelly in "Protection"

Siobhan Finneran and Katherine Kelly in "Protection"

(Photo: ITV)

If you can name a particular specialty of crime solving, someone has almost certainly made a show about it. Annika's story revolves around a Scottish Marine Homicide Unit.  Line of Duty follows an Anti-Corruption squad. And Trigger Point is centered around a Metropolitan Police bomb squad. Next to join their ranks is ITV's upcoming series Protection, a six-part drama that follows the story of a detective in charge of a present-day Witness Protection branch. 

The idea behind the show reportedly came from a real-life witness protection specialist who served with the Metropolitan Police for over thirty years, looking after several high-profile cases and informants, including war criminals, terrorists, and more. It stars Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley) as Detective Liz Nyles, a tough cop navigating the messy and difficult world of witness protection. Personally compromised by an affair with a colleague and determined to root out the corruption in her unit, she'll have to journey to some dark places (both literally and figuratively) to find out the truth. 

"Protection is a suspenseful conspiracy thriller, but it also explores some complex moral questions, about how far we should be prepared to go in order to serve the greater good," acclaimed screenwriter Kris Mrksa (The Murders at White House Farm) said in a statement. "The murky world of witness protection, where hardened criminals are often sheltered, in the hope that they will help bring down other criminals, provides the perfect context for examining these thorny issues. I'm incredibly excited to be working with the team at New Pictures again, in bringing this complex world to life.”

The series also features Katherine Kelly (The Long Shadow) and Nadine Marshall (Sherwood) alongside Finneran.

Here's the series' synopsis. 

Witness protection is often glamorised as keeping innocent witnesses safe from harm but the truth is darker, murkier, and far more complex. Many protected people are themselves criminals. It’s a life of moral compromise. It also involves maximum secrecy, false identities, and a world where you can’t trust your own colleagues.  

Based on the first-hand experiences of a long serving witness protection officer, Protection is about what happens when the system breaks down. It’s about a police officer, Detective Inspector Liz Nyles (Siobhan Finneran), who finds herself at the heart of such a breach; personally compromised by an affair with a colleague, but determined to fight back, and uncover the true source of corruption within her unit. To redeem herself, the reputation of her lover, and to keep her witnesses safe. Even if they don’t always deserve it.   

Additional cast members include Barry Ward (Bad Sisters), Chaneil Kular (Sex Education), David Hayman (Guilt), Nichola Burley (The Gold) and Akiya Henry (Silent Witness).

“The clandestine world of witness protection creates a thrilling backdrop for this intriguing crime thriller written brilliantly by Kris Mrska," ITV Head of Drama Polly Hill said. "We’ve attracted an amazing cast including Siobhan Finneran, Nadine Marshall, and Katherine Kelly and I’m delighted to commission the series from Willow Grylls and her team at New Pictures.”

Created Mrksa, Protection will be directed by Simen Alsvik (The Nest) and Sasha Ransome (COBRA). The series is written by Mrksa (Episodes 1, 3, and 6), Polly Buckle (Episodes 2 and 4) and Guila Sandler (Episode 5). It is produced by multi-award-winning production company New Pictures.

Filming is currently underway and Protection is slated to air on ITV in 2024 and be available for streaming on ITVX. It does not currently have an American distributor, but it's feminist procedural vibe would make the series an excellent fit for a streamer like BritBox or Acorn TV.

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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