STV vows to 'turbo charge' new era of drama production

STV is to roll out a string of drama series set in Scotland for the first time since the demise of Taggart seven years ago.

STV's long-running crime drama Taggart ran from 1983 to 2010.
STV's long-running crime drama Taggart ran from 1983 to 2010.

It is bringing in one of Britain’s leading producers to help “turbo charge” its development of drama over the next few years.

Channel chiefs say they are planning “a raft of projects set in Scotland” under a new commitment to “distinctive, high-quality, writer-led shows.”

STV has revealed it is joining forces with Elaine Collins, who brought Vera and Shetland to the small screen, and has previously worked with both BBC and ITV.

Former BBC and ITV executive Elaine Collins is to help mastermind a new era of drama production at STV.

STV Productions, which previously made Rebus and Taggart, is already working on a brand new legal drama for BBC One.

The Victim, a four-part drama set in Edinburgh, is billed as a gripping, contemporary thriller which will offer a “constantly surprising and twisting perspective on who is really the victim.”

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Sarah Brown, head of drama at STV Productions, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Elaine on this exciting new venture.

“She is hugely respected in the industry thanks to her fantastic writer relationships, terrific development brain, and impeccable taste.

Former BBC and ITV executive Elaine Collins is to help mastermind a new era of drama production at STV.

“Her track-record making shows which are so loved and admired will give a fantastic boost to our ambitions to grow our drama business and to build on our past successes as a leading producer of top quality drama both north and south of the border.”

Ms Collins, a former film and TV actress who is married to Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, was previously an executive producer at ITV Studios and creative director at BBC Drama.

She now has her own company, Tod Productions, which is said to have signed an “exclusive deal” with STV Productions.

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She said: “I’m very much looking forward to teaming up with Sarah and STV Productions.

“Our shared ambition to work with the very best screenwriting talent, provide a home for the most original novels, both historical and contemporary, and our passionate commitment to producing top quality work from Scotland and beyond, makes it feel like the perfect home for me.”

STV Productions has concentrated mainly on entertainment shows like Antiques Road Trip and Catchphrase, and documentaries the award-winning programmes on the Piper Alpha disaster and the Dunblane massacre.

The Victim, the first new drama series STV has filmed in Scotland since the demise of Taggart in 2010, will begin filming early next year.

The series, written by Rob Williams, is described as “a gripping, contemporary legal thriller told through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused.”

Ms Brown added: “It’s particularly exciting to be making a drama set and shot in Scotland, and to be able to tell a story which is both totally rooted in its setting, and yet utterly universal in its concerns.”