2 hour crime drama pilot for ITV Encore in 2016.
6 episode series ordered for ITV December 2017.


Chris Lang from a novel Suffer the Children by Adam Creed


Colin Teague (drama pilot)


Staffe is taking some long overdue leave to continue the investigation into his parents’ murder and is about to board his flight to Spain when he is called by his loyal Detective Sergeant, Josie Chancellor, to say that they need him as a man has been found murdered. The disturbingly gruesome fashion the victim has been killed raises alarm bells and the pressure is on Staffe to find the murderer.
Told across a stifling week during an August heat wave in London the 1 x 120 minute episode of Dark Heart follows DI Wagstaffe and his team investigate what unfolds to be not one but a string of horrifyingly brutal murders the victims of which are men who have been accused of sexual offences against children but have never been convicted for their alleged crimes. Staffe feels sure he knows what is driving the killer but finding a connection between the murder victims or even those abused by the murder victims frustratingly eludes him. As dogged and determined as ever Staffe pushes the boundaries in searching for the killer but the truth he finally uncovers is more surprising and shocking than he could ever have imagined.

Tom Riley's Role

DI Will Wagstaffe
Detective Inspector William Wagstaffe (Tom Riley), 32, is haunted by the murder of his parents during a family holiday in Spain when he was 16 years old. The killers are still at large and ‘Staffe’ is unable to let go until he finds them. It is probably no coincidence that after leaving school and joining the police force he rose quickly through the ranks to become Detective Inspector before the age of thirty.

Filming Details

Pilot episode: London from June 22nd 2016 until July 16th 2016
Series: London from March to May 2018



ON TV Worldwide

9th November 2016 on ITV Encore UK
27th May 2017 on Canvas Belgium
Summer 2017 on Super Channel Canada
27th July 2017 on SVT1, Sweden
31st October 2018 (series) on ITV UK
6th November 2018 (series) on ITV Choice Africa
7th November 2018 (series) on BritBox US & Canada

DVD / Digital release

31st October 2018 iTunes series link UK
26th November 2018 Region 2 DVD UK


ITV Press Pack
Chris Lang
ITV Press Release