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New Crime Thriller ‘Quirke’, TX Sunday 16th
14 Feb 2014 : Aisling Newton
The new crime series ‘Quirke’ will start this Sunday February 16th on RTÉ One at 9.30pm.

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne stars in the title role as Quirke, a chief pathologist in the Dublin city morgue, and a charismatic loner, whose job takes him into unexpected places as he uncovers the secrets of sudden death in 1950s Dublin.

The series is based on the books by award-winning Irish writer John Banville, which he wrote under the pseudonym of Benjamin Black. It is a co-production between BBC Drama Production, Element Pictures and Tyrone Productions, who own the rights to the books.

‘Quirke’ consists of three 90-minute episodes; the first two were adapted by Welsh screenwriter Andrew Davies and the third by Irish playwright/director Conor McPherson. ‘Christine Falls’, the first of the Benjamin Black books, opens the mini-series, followed by ‘The Silver Swan’ and ‘Elegy’.

Directors for the three blocks are John Alexander (White Heat), Diarmuid Lawrence (Silent Witness) and Jim O’Hanlon (A Touch of Cloth).

The cast also includes Aisling Franciosi (The Fall), Nick Dunning (Iron Lady, The Tudors), Michael Gambon (Fortitude) as the judge and Stanley Townsend who was nominated for an IFTA Award in 2009 for his role in ‘Whistleblower’, has also had roles in ‘Sherlock’, ‘Killing Bono’, and Irish feature ‘Standby’.

The series’ partners in the UK are BBC and BBC Worldwide, as well as the BAI, IFB and RTE and section 481 in Ireland. The series was commissioned by Danny Cohen, controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, controller drama commissioning. Jessica Pope is the executive producer for the BBC, Ed Guiney for Element Pictures and Joan Egan for Tyrone Productions.

Guiney spoke with IFTN about the upcoming release of ‘Quirke’ to Irish audiences and said: “I really hope Irish audience enjoy it. The books are incredibly popular In Ireland and I think that type of story in that era has not really been told this way before. ‘Quirke’ features authentic noir mysteries with great noir characters talking about important things in an entertaining way.”

Filming took place around Dublin along the canal near Baggot Street, Camden Street and the main set at Clancy Barracks. Guiney said: “Filming in Dublin was quite easy as much of the city still looks like 1950’s Dublin with its iconic buildings and big old houses.”

Casting director on ‘Quirke’ was Kate Rhodes James and Louise Kiely in Ireland. Byrne committed to the project early when his good friend John Mc Colgan from Tyrone Productions showed him the script.

Guiney said: “Gabriel was a key part in getting ‘Quirke’ made and was also an attractive aspect to our funding partners. He strongly identified with the books and knew the world very well. As a Dubliner himself, he had very strong views about the project and was very much the leader of the cast. He set the tone for the entire production.”

The series was edited by David Head, Úna Ní Dhonghaíle and Roy Sharman. Costume was by Lorna Marie Mugan and the series music was by Rob Lane. Post-production for ‘Quirke’ was completed at Windmill Lane.

‘Quirke’ has been licensed to five international broadcasters and will air in Germany (Degeto), Croatia (HRT), Denmark (Danmarks Radio), Iceland (RUV) and Slovenia (RTV).

After recently retuning from Sundance with ‘Frank’, Guiney is now focusing on pre-production for ‘The Lobster’, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz for Element Pictures. The film begins shooting at the end of March.

Element have also just completed Gerard Barrett’s ‘Glasslands’, starring Jack Reynor and Toni Collette, and are currently in post-production for the new ‘Haughey’ drama.

A preview for ‘Quirke’ can be viewed below:




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