ITV has announced details of a new crime drama series based on a true story from the mid 1980s.
White House Farm is written by The Slap creator Kris Mrksa and produced by the makers of Catherine the Great and The Missing.
The six-part factual drama tells the true story of the fateful night in August 1985 when five members of the same family were murdered at a farmhouse in Essex, England; Sheila Caffell, her twin six-year-old sons, Daniel and Nicholas, and her parents, Nevill and June Bamber.
Based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts, White House Farm will aim to provide “fresh insight into this family tragedy and the contested accounts of the events that took place.”
Freddie Fox (Parade’s End) will play Jeremy Bamber, alongside Mark Addy (Game of Thrones) as DS Stan Jones and Stephen Graham (Line of Duty) as DCI ‘Taff’ Jones.
The cast also includes Gemma Whelan (Gentleman Jack), Amanda Burton (Silent Witness) and Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), with Mark Stanley, Alexa Davies, Cressida Bonas and Nicholas Farrell.
The official synopsis reads: “Essex Police initially believed that Sheila, who had mental health problems, had murdered her own family before turning the gun on herself. But Detective Sergeant Stan Jones had doubts about the murder-suicide theory, and about Sheila’s brother Jeremy Bamber, who first called the police to the farm.
“Eventually it was Jeremy Bamber who was charged and convicted of the murders of his own parents, sister and nephews. Bamber is currently serving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He is one of the few prisoners in the UK subject to a whole-life order. Bamber still maintains his innocence.”
Writer Kris Mrksa commented: “This is an incredibly compelling true crime story, but it’s the human dimension of these events that gripped my imagination, particularly after reading Colin Caffell’s book.
“So much discussion of the case has focused on contested legal details, but I wanted to tell this story in a way that did justice to the devastating emotional truth of what happened.”
Executive producer Willow Grylls added: “This notorious case has been the subject of much debate, and our programme focuses on the impact of the human tragedy.”
ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill also said: “White House Farm is a fascinating insight into what happened on that fateful night in August 1985 and the subsequent search for the truth during the police investigation.
“Kris Mrksa’s scripts are captivating and perfectly enhanced by the brilliance of Paul Whittington’s direction.”
White House Farm is expected to air in the UK in early 2020 on ITV.