Home Production company ITV Red Production Company, Studiocanal ‘No Return’ Danny Brocklehurst

ITV Red Production Company, Studiocanal ‘No Return’ Danny Brocklehurst


Since they were given the lead, the great authors of modern television have been its writers. Thus, “No Return” can be taken in different ways. This is an ITV series from Red Production Company, which drew tremendous heat producing “It’s a Sin” and “Years and Years” by Russell T. Davies.

It is sold by Studiocanal, the largest film and television production and distribution center in Europe which owns Red Production Company and is behind the “Paddington” franchise, several successful thrillers by Liam Neeson and the upcoming western. “Django”.

In production since July, it is billed as a gripping event drama, starring BAFTA-winning actress Sheridan Smith (“Mrs Biggs”).

But it’s also the latest from Danny Brocklehurst, now one of the UK’s most prominent screenwriters.

Few have its range or its pedigree. After learning his trade from two of Britain’s greatest working class TV voices, Paul Abbott (“Shameless”) and Jimmy McGovern (“The Street”, “Accused”), he wrote half of “The Five “and” Safe “by Harlan Coben. ”, Which wrapped up the 2018 Canneseries. Brocklehurst has now come out on top, most notably with BBC One’s miniseries“ Come Home ”and“ Brassic, ”Sky’s biggest comedy in recent years, kicking off season three on October 6.

“No Return” would appear to be a partial return to Harlan Coben mode, a facade of a suddenly shattered perfect life revealing that people were not what they appeared to be.

In this case, Kathy (Smith) leads her family on a seemingly idyllic all-inclusive vacation to Turkey, only to have her world fall apart when her son Noah is arrested after attending a local beach party. Kathy and her husband Martin (Michael Jibson) must navigate an expensive and foreign legal system as their vacation turns into hell.

Directed by John Alexander (“Grace”, “Belgravia”) and produced by Farah Abushwesha (“The Singapore Grip”, “The ABC Murders”), “No Return” also brings Brocklehurst back to one of his favorite themes, family , including modern pressures that he expertly deciphered in “Come Home”. Variety spoke to him as he approached Mipcom where Studiocanal will present the series to buyers:

I suspect you are now in a position where you could write about quite a bit of the world. What was your main interest in creating “No Return”?

I wanted to work on a great family drama with a real engine at its heart. Noah’s arrest takes a huge toll on both families, exposing their secrets, things that have been rotting for years, questions about their son and themselves. There is also the subtle but important theme of consent which seems quite topical now.

“No Return” has some Harlan Coben vibes: Happiness, or at least its facade, suddenly shattered, revealing secrets. But maybe this is a superficial comparison?

Harlan Coben’s thrillers are a different beast, the TV equivalent of a page turner. “No Return” has a slightly different tone, there’s still some sort of criminal element, hope it’s real quick and people want to know what’s going on, and we end every episode on a big hook. . But it relies more on the idea of ​​family. It’s a very universal story – and I don’t say that about everything I write. It’s a family matter. It’s about love. This is your own protection. And tensions created in extreme situations.

On aAll-inclusive vacations hardly interact with the local culture, let alone the authorities. In “No Return”, it’s the opposite….

One of the things that interested me is that most of us go on a package holiday or a sun and beach vacation where you basically go to one country, live in a tourist bubble for a while. week or two, then fly. You could go to some really interesting places – the Dominican Republic, Croatia or in this case Turkey, but you would certainly never think about what would happen if you fell foul of this country’s legal system which can be very different. from yours. In “No Return” this happens.

Danny brocklehurst
Courtesy of Lippin Company

Did you do a lot of research for the show, and do you do a lot of research in general?

On my more “serious” dramas, yes. When I wrote “Come Home,” about a mother leaving her family and what it meant for the father, I looked at what it meant in terms of child support and other considerations. On “No Return”, I had to do a lot of research on the [Turkish] legal system, talking to a lot of people. We want to do it right. The last thing we wanted was for people to say, “It’s not really like that.” It was a little intimidating at first. But once I got into it, I really enjoyed it.

Do you see yourself as an author? In other words, what do you think you bring to “No Return” as a writer?

If you think of someone like, say, Jimmy McGovern, he’s a great guy and a good man, and a Jimmy McGovern drama has a certain imprint on it. I like to do quite different genres, flex different muscles. When I write a dramatic comedy I try to be funny, poignant sometimes, but basically I have fun. I sometimes do all the thrillers. And then things like “No Return”, “Exile” and “Come Home”, which have a little more character. But if you look at the work I’ve done, there are probably themes I come back to, things I wanted to say about the world, that left my mark on them.

Could you name one?

I did a whole series, “Ordinary Lies”, about ordinary people placed in exceptional circumstances where their life suddenly takes a pretty extreme turn that they have to face. Obviously, this is drama to a degree. But I have written a lot over the years about the ordinary person taken to extremes by circumstances, perhaps of their own making, perhaps external. It’s a theme that fascinates me. The more you write about ordinary, recognizable people, the more questions the audience can ask about their own lives. Paul [Abbott], Russel [T Davies] and Jimmy [McGovern] all of them do it very well, with a sort of realistic feel that appeals to audiences.

And do you plan to pay special attention to this theme?

I was kind of drawn to the industry by Paul Abbott and worked with him for many years – on “Clocking Off” and “Shameless”. One of the things he used to say was, something like, that Frieda, a machinist in the factory, there’s no reason why this person shouldn’t have a brain that’s interested in other things. You don’t have to write characters like cliché. Real people are very surprising. You just have to go out into the real world and chat with someone. And you know, I wasn’t expecting it.