A new drama from the creator of Line of Duty and Bodyguard has those who have seen it gripped, and has gained a very positive score on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
With Bodyguard, he managed to catch the lightning in a bottle once again, keeping viewers gripped and leaving them demanding more when it eventually came to an end.
Now, he’s released a show on BritBox that – would you believe? – is another crime/thriller show, this time written by acclaimed screenwriter Debbie O’Malley and starring Morven Christie and Ozark star Peter Mullan.
It’s called Payback.
The show takes place in Scotland and sees Christie play Lexie Noble, an accountant raising two kids in Edinburgh when her husband, who runs their business, is murdered in broad daylight in the streets of the Scottish capital.
After that, it turns out that he’d stolen £27 million from a local crime kingpin, played by Mullan, after promising to launder his ill-gotten gains for him.
In the meantime, the police are attempting to pin something on the crime overlord and grind his criminal empire to a halt.
Lexie finds herself stuck between the two camps, attempting to get the stolen cash back for the crims, while also attempting to help the police with their investigation into her husband’s murder.
In classic Mercurio fashion, there are twists and turns galore, and the action is wide-ranging and full of suspense.
Speaking about his work with O’Malley, Mercurio told the New York Post: “Debbie was a writer I admired and I knew her a bit socially,
“We got talking about this idea she had for a show and it was fairly soon in the process when I realized she was on to something — and then making sure we had a very strong serial thread.
“Debbie did fantastic work on the protagonist, making her an everywoman character and creating the stakes and jeopardy within the story.”
As for the stars of the show, Mercurio also had some kind words for Mullan.
He said: “Peter was absolutely the first name that came to mind to play Cal.
“Just because of the roles he’s played before and I also knew Peter – he directed some episodes of my first-ever TV show [the medical drama Cardiac Arrest] so we go way back and we hadn’t worked together since then.”
On Christie’s character, he added: “That is the centrepiece of the drama,
“This ordinary character who’s got business skills, but nothing extraordinary about that, who’s in this incredibly threatening situation.
“On one side there’s organized crime in the person of Cal [Mullan’s crime boss] and the people who work for him, and on the other side the police.
“They just want to bring Cal to justice and there’s a very great likelihood that Lexie will be collateral damage.
“She’s just a regular person navigating this incredibly perilous path between these two very powerful forces in her life — which creates an enormous amount of jeopardy for her.”
Anyway, the show seems to have started well, boasting an 80 percent ‘fresh’ score from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 78 percent ‘fresh’ audience rating.
So, if you’re stuck for something to watch, you could definitely do worse than giving this a go.
Payback is on BritBox now.Featured Image Credit: ITV