Channel 4 has announced the commission of a new British true crime drama.
My Name is Lizzie will examine the high-pressure investigation into the devastating murder of Rachel Nickell nearly thirty years ago.
Irish actress Niamh Algar (The Virtues, Raised by Wolves) will play a female undercover officer, codename ‘Lizzie James’, who is asked to become sexual bait for a suspected killer.
Written by Emilia di Girolamo (The Tunnel), the four-part series will explore the complicated and toxic sexual politics of the early ‘90s and the police’s obsession with the wrong man.
Channel 4’s Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick commented: “The unique female perspective of Emilia’s extraordinary scripts will shine a light on one of the most shocking stories in modern policing, in a drama which combines Story Films’ trademark journalistic rigor with sensitivity and nuance. And it’s a privilege to be working with Niamh Algar, who is fast becoming an iconic star of the channel.”
The official synopsis reads: “Five months on from the crime and The Met Police are still no closer to capturing the man they’re convinced is responsible. First identified through a BBC Crimewatch appeal, the evidence is stacked against Colin Stagg. The media feed a national obsession, covering every detail of the case and demanding justice.
“The police are determined to catch the man who, in their eyes, is guilty before he kills again. In desperation, the relatively young Detective Inspector leading the case, engages the nation’s most famous criminal proﬁler to devise a bold undercover operation which will see an attractive, young female officer start a relationship with Colin Stagg.
“Growing up under Thatcher’s reign, with second-wave feminism ‘Lizzie James’ (Niamh Algar) – is determined to rise through the ranks. But the early ‘90s has brought with it an inevitable backlash in the shape of ‘Lad Culture’, obliterating any feminist gains and putting women ﬁrmly back in their place.
“Hugely ambitious, ‘Lizzie’ has found a way to stand out by becoming one of very few female undercover officers deployed in covert operations… And then she’s offered a central role in the biggest murder enquiry the country has ever seen…”
My Name is Lizzie begins filming later this year and will air on Channel 4 in the UK in 2021.