Luther writer embarks on NZ crime drama for BBC
Rebecca Hawkes
| 09 October 2014
Neil Cross, writer of acclaimed TV thriller Luther, and his company Libertine Pictures, are collaborating with international TV producer Carnival to develop a New Zealand-based crime series for the BBC.

Provisionally titled Bay of Plenty, the series is termed 'a darkly eccentric' crime drama, which will be shot primarily in Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty with a New Zealand crew and a New Zealand and international cast. Cross, who is British, now lives in New Zealand.

The story revolves around a London police detective relocates to New Zealand with her family, thinking that they are moving to paradise.

"In the tradition of shows like Twin Peaks and Fargo the series explores the beauty, eeriness and dark underbelly of this small city at the end of the earth," said Richard Fletcher who, along with Neil Cross, is joint managing director of Libertine.

"Viewers can expect the kind of darkness that characterises Neil's work but with a quirky humour too," he added.

Filming is scheduled to start in the second half of 2015 to initially produce eight one-hour episodes.

The project will be financed by international licence fees and the Government's New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG). It is the first major New Zealand-originated TV production to be announced since the launch of the incentive scheme in April 2014.

"It will bring significant investment to the local and national economy. The vast majority of the cast will be New Zealanders and it will employ many people from the New Zealand television and film industry and from the Bay of Plenty region," said Fletcher.

NBCUniversal will handle international sales and will launch the series at MIPCOM television market in Cannes from 13-16 October 2014.