A murder mystery with a difference launches on ITV for December, as Bancroft spans four consecutive nights to unravel its secrets.
The series dives into a cold case killing and the ghosts of the investigation that established detective Bancroft would rather stayed buried in the past.
At the heart of the drama is a talented cast and strong characters – read on to find out more about them.
Elizabeth Bancroft – Sarah Parish
Detective Superintendent Bancroft is a ruthless, talented investigator who commands the respect and adoration of her colleagues.
Bancroft should be in line for a big promotion when her boss DCS Taheeri retires, thanks in no small part to her work in trying to bring down the vicious Kamara gang and its kingpin Athif – although she’s been known to employ some dubious methods.
She has also single-handedly brought up her son Joe, who she is very close to and extremely protective of.
When a new detective is assigned to a cold case that Bancroft was involved in 27 years ago, the reopening of old secrets shakes her to her core but the past refuses to stay buried.
Sarah Parish is in the lead role and is known for her work on various successful TV series, including Cutting It, W1A, Breathless, Trollied, Atlantis, Mistresses, and the third series of Broadchurch.
Katherine Stevens – Faye Marsay
DS Stevens may only be in her early 20s, but she’s being fast tracked to success and part of that involves digging into some old unsolved mysteries – including the murder of Laura Fraser, brutally killed in her own home 27 years ago.
Stevens is immediately drawn to Bancroft and the pair develop a bond, but when Bancroft realises which case she has been assigned to, she uses the new DS’s trust to keep an eye on how things are developing.
Meanwhile, Stevens has been having an affair with a married colleague but when she meets Bancroft’s son Joe, decides that maybe she should start dating him and uses their relationship to get closer to her superior.
Game of Thrones star Faye Marsay plays Stevens and viewers may also recognise her from her roles in Pride, Need for Speed and Love, Nina. She will feature in forthcoming BBC gangster epic McMafia.
Tim Fraser - Linus Roache
Widowed Tim has a complicated connection to Bancroft – they were at university together and she was on the team investigating his wife’s murder.
After Laura’s death, he and Bancroft had a short-lived affair and he then moved to London where he became a successful barrister, married again and had a daughter.
Tim has always known that there was a darker side to Bancroft, but for an easy life he was happy to look the other way.
Linus has appeared in Law & Order, Homeland and Vikings, as well as Christopher Nolan film Batman Begins.
Anya Karim – Amara Karan
Forensic scientist Anya forms a good friendship with Stevens, but differs from her in that she wants to keep her personal life separate from work.
This is because she has been hiding a close connection with the Kamaras from her bosses at the police force. She used to be in a relationship with Athif which fell apart when he tried to bully her out of completing her studies.
Amara has appeared in TV series Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and The Night Of, as well as films The Darjeeling Limited and St Trinian’s.
Joe Bancroft – Adam Long
Joe has always believed that his father is Bancroft’s ex Brian, but as a 27-year-old… well, it won’t take viewers long to work out the twist in his past.
He’s kept on a short leash under his mother’s roof and is often subject to her manipulation, especially in relationships.
Adam has appeared in Happy Valley, Waterloo Road, and the recent WWII blockbuster Dunkirk.
Laura Fraser – Lily Sacofsky
Murder victim Laura appears in the many flashback scenes of the drama before her untimely death.
She was a popular, sociable barmaid who was the polar opposite of Tim, but the pair had a whirlwind romance and were quickly married. She was in the early stages of pregnancy when she was killed.
Athif Kamara – Amit Dhut
The most violent member of the Kamara family and Anya’s ex, Athif is a psychopathic bully who has been running a drugs racket but is looking to upgrade to the illegal arms trade.
Alan Taheeri – Art Malik
DCS Taheeri feels his time at the force is up and sees Bancroft as his natural successor, but wants to give himself a backup option by inviting her rival Clifford Walker to apply for the job, too.
Taheeri is used to looking after his own and knows when a situation needs to be buried for political reasons, even if it seems immoral…
Art was recently seen in Cold Feet and is known for his roles in True Lies, The Living Daylights, Borgia, and Indian Summers.
Clifford Walker – Adrian Edmondson
Walker is Bancroft’s parallel and has been invited to apply as her competition for the DCS role.
He spends most of his time behind a desk and the cold cases appeal to his natural talents as a detective. He also takes a shine to Stevens and is happy to mentor her through her career, while keeping up his long-running rivalry with Bancroft.
Adrian is best known for his comedy roles in The Young Ones and Bottom, but has been seen more recently in War & Peace, One Of Us, and Prey.
George Morris - Lee Boardman
Detective Inspector George Morris is an experienced police officer and has risen through the ranks due to his reliability and competence. But underneath his professional demeanour, George is empathetic and kind.
Best known for playing drug dealer Jez Quigley in Coronation Street, Lee Boardman's other TV roles have included Da Vinci's Demons, ITV comedy Great Night Out, Death in Paradise and BBC Three comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous.
Episode 3 preview
Bancroft is faced with a startling blast from the past, which brings the events from 1990 back to the surface. Meanwhile, Katherine wrestles with twists and turns of the new information she is uncovering. Bancroft secures Zaheera in safe accommodation and Daanish fulfils his part of the deal. Anya makes a surprising visit to an old friend. Katherine is faced with a chilling truth.
Bancroft begins on Monday, December 11 at 9pm on ITV. It airs Monday to Thursday.
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