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Siobhan Finneran, Nadine Marshall and Katherine Kelly to star in new ITV drama Protection

The six-part thriller is set in the world of witness protection.

Written by Kris Mrksa, Protection is based on the first-hand experiences of a long serving witness protection officer and is about what happens when the system breaks down. It's the story of a smart, tough cop, out of her depth in a world where nothing is as it seems.

Siobhan Finneran plays Detective Inspector Liz Nyles 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.

Navigating the morally-grey, clandestine world of witness protection, Liz’s mission to find the truth will take her deep into the heart of the criminal underbelly and beyond as she becomes more and more torn between caring for her family, her loyalty to her lover and her duty as a police officer.

With a deft narrative that promises to engage from the outset, Kris Mrksa is said to have created a story with suspenseful twists and with every hairpin turn perfectly navigates the story to ensure the audience won’t know who to believe and who is telling the truth.

Alongside Nadine Marshall and Katherine Kelly, Protection also stars Barry Ward, Chaneil Kular, David Hayman, Nichola Burley and Akiya Henry.

Protection is based on an idea by a witness protection specialist who served in the Met for 30 years. During his time in witness protection, he looked after a number of high-profile cases and informants, including, war criminals, terrorists and criminals of all kinds.

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.

Speaking about his latest drama, Kris Mrksa said "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."

"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."

To which ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill added "The clandestine world of witness protection creates a thrilling backdrop for this intriguing crime thriller written brilliantly by Kris Mrska. 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."

Produced by New Pictures in association with All3Media International, Protection will be produced by Rebecca Davies, line produced by Tracy Chapman and executive produced by Willow Grylls, Charlie Hampton, Elaine Pyke and Kris Mrksa.

It will be directed by Simen Alsvik and Sasha Ransome with Kris Mrksa writing episodes 1, 3 and 6, Polly Buckle writing episodes 2 and 4 and Giula Sandler writing episode 5.

On Protection, Willow Grylls and Charlie Hampton said "Kris Mrksa has created an exciting and compulsive thriller that takes us into the often-hidden world of witness protection with some incredible female characters at its heart, led by the brilliant Siobhan Finneran, Nadine Marshall and Katherine Kelly."

Filming has commenced in Liverpool.

Protection will air on ITV1 and ITVX in 2024


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