John Simm will star in ‘Endeavour’ creator’s new ITV crime drama

ITV is bringing Peter James’ award winning Roy Grace novels to television.

The first two stories in the series, Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead, are being adapted by Endeavour screenwriter Russell Lewis.

International bestselling crime author Peter James’ Superintendent Roy Grace books have sold over 20 million copies around the world, having been translated in to 37 languages.

Life on Mars star John Simm will lead the cast of Grace as the tenacious titular detective.

Grace will introduce Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a hard-working police officer who has given his life to the job.

Filming is set to begin in Brighton, England in the coming months.

The two 120-minute adaptations will air on ITV in the UK later this year.

Peter James commented: “John Simm, who actually looks like the Roy Grace of my imagination, is inspired casting!

“With John in the lead, the brilliant scripting by Russell Lewis, and our wonderful production team, I’m confident that fans of my novels and of TV crime dramas in general will be in for a treat.”

Endeavour creator Russell Lewis added: “I’m thrilled and honoured to be involved in bringing Peter James’ brilliantly gripping series of Roy Grace novels to ITV. Each story is a fantastic, hair-raising, twisting, switch-back of a roller-coaster ride that grips the reader from first to last, and the opportunity to translate that best-selling magic to television is like all one’s Christmases and birthdays come at once.”

Lewis has previously also written episodes of Inspector Morse, Lewis, Murphy’s Law, Sharpe and Kavanagh QC.

He said: “As his millions of fans and admirers are well aware, Peter’s meticulous research and eye for detail is the stuff of legend. His long established, close relationship with the police, taken together with a knowledge of Brighton and the South Coast that is the sole preserve of the born and bred lends his stories an unimpeachable veracity of place and procedure.

“That John Simm will be breathing flesh to the bones of Roy Grace really is the cherry on a dark, and troublingly encrimsoned cake…”

The official synopsis reads: “[The series] opens with Grace’s career at rock bottom. He’s fixated by the disappearance of his beloved wife, Sandy, which haunts his thoughts. He’s in the last chance saloon running enquiries into long forgotten cold cases with little prospect of success. Following another reprimand for his unorthodox police methods, Grace is walking a career tightrope and risks being moved from the job he loves most.

“With so much at stake, his colleague Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson knows he has more to give and asks him for help with a case. When a stag night prank appears to go wrong and the groom goes missing, Branson calls upon Grace to unravel events that led to the mysterious disappearance three days before his wedding to his beautiful fiancé.

“A successful property developer with everything to live for, there is no trace of the missing groom. Is this a case of stag night shenanigans gone badly awry? Or is this something more sinister?

“With nothing but instinct, a lingering suspicion and his obsessive nature, Grace doggedly pursues the groom’s disappearance and becomes uneasily close to the bride to be….”

Endeavour will return this spring with a seventh season.

Russell Lewis hinted earlier last year that we’re “getting very near the end”, although an eighth season has already been confirmed for 2021.

Season 6 is available on DVD on Amazon.