First Look at The Woman in the Wall, premiering Jan 19 on Showtime! – TRAILER


The Affair star Ruth Wilson and Peaky Blinders and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande actor Daryl McCormack have been set to lead new blue-chip BBC and Showtime series The Woman in the Wall, inspired by Ireland’s controversial Magdalene Laundries. The series is premiering on Friday, Jan 19 at 9/8c. on Showtime. Let’s take a first exclusive look!


In the 6×60’ gothic thriller, two-time BAFTA nominee Wilson will play Lorna Brady, who wakes one morning to find a corpse in her house. Brady has no idea who the dead woman is or if she herself might be responsible for the apparent murder, because she has long suffered from extreme bouts of sleepwalking. The episodes began during her teenage years when she was incarcerated in one of Ireland and the Catholic Church’s notorious Magdalene Laundries, where ‘fallen women’ were sent to atone for “sins” such as adultery and teenage pregnancy.


Rising actor McCormack will play the ambitious but elusive Detective Colman Akande, who is on Lorna’s tail for a crime seemingly unrelated to the dead woman in Lorna’s house. Colman has risen quickly through the ranks of the local police force but is hiding his own dark secrets.

The Magdalene Laundries operated in Ireland for more than 200 years. But it wasn’t until 1993, when the unmarked graves of 155 women were uncovered in the convent grounds of one of the laundries, that media uncovered the operations of the secretive institutions. A formal state apology was issued in 2013, and a £50M compensation scheme for survivors was set up by the Irish Government.

“Lorna Brady is a complex and fascinating character, and I’m thrilled to help bring her to life. In The Woman in the Wall Joe has created both an enthralling gothic thriller and a moving examination of the legacy of the Magdalene Laundries. It’s a privilege to bring this story to screens.”

“We find Lorna waking up in the middle of the road surrounded by cows, and you realize this woman is someone who often sleepwalks, and that, as the show quickly reveals, is from a trauma in her past,” Wilson tells EW. “She was at the age of 16 sent into one of these mother and baby homes because she had a child, she was pregnant out of wedlock, and she was basically put into one of these homes, and often there was forced labor in these places. And then when her child was born, it was taken from her and she has no idea really what happened to that child. Is the child dead or alive, and where has it gone?”

Creator and executive producer Murtagh commented: “My family is from Mayo, the county in which our fictional town of Kilkinure is set, and it deeply frustrates and saddens me that it feels so few people have heard of the Laundries that existed across Ireland. I hope that by making something that has the familiarity of a genre piece we are able to shed some light on the awful things that occurred within these kind of institutions and introduce this history to the wider public, so that nothing like it may ever happen again.”

Jana Winograde, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks, added: “The Woman in the Wall takes on a startling story about a notorious and heartbreaking scandal in Ireland, one that destroyed the lives of women for more than 200 years. We are thrilled to bring the incomparable Ruth Wilson back to Showtime with such a powerful, moving series that is also incredibly relevant to our culture today.”

The drama, which will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK and on Showtime in the U.S., is being distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution in all other territories. Execs are Sam Lavender (Saint Maud), Simon Maxwell (Get Millie Black), Murtagh, Wilson and Wootliff. The series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, and Piers Wenger, former Director of BBC Drama, and Jana Winograde and Gary Levine for Showtime.

Motive is the UK production company set up by former Channel4 exec Simon Maxwell. Former Film4 exec Sam Lavender joined in 2019. Among projects in development are Claire Foy drama Marlow and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

She continues: “And then, you see her on a mission. It’s why I loved her — she’s someone that is a survivor, and because she is an outsider, too, she in some ways hasn’t got anything left to lose, so she’s going to fight for justice. So, initially, as an audience you’ll think maybe she’s in an act of revenge or she’s a murderer, but as you watch the series, you come to realize that she’s on a greater mission than that.”

But, thanks to her grim discovery after a night of sleepwalking, Lorna decides not to let herself sleep again. So, as her nights become days and days become nights, Wilson teases: “You realize that she’s a somewhat unreliable narrator in the show because you’re not quite sure as an audience what’s real and what’s not… and neither is she.”

“I thought it’s such a smart way to get a really quite important story out there and kind of hide it through genre and get people hopefully attracted to the material for those genre tropes, for the horror of it, for the crime in it, for the black comedy humor in it, which is also quite Irish in its sensibility. But actually underneath you are drawing the audience to a more important story at the heart of it and hoping that they will start to dig a bit deeper into that or learn something else from it as well.”

Created and written by BAFTA Award nominee Joe Murtagh, the series also stars Simon Delaney, Philippa Dunne, Mark Huberman, Hilda Fay, Frances Tomelty, and Dermot Crowley. The Woman in the Wall will premiere on streaming and on demand for Paramount+ subscribers with the Paramount+ with Showtime plan on Friday, Jan. 19, before making its on-air debut on Showtime on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.



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Source: Deadline / EW

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