STV to make new 'uncensored and terrifying' prison drama with creator of The Victim

The writer of the award-winning drama The Victim and STV are to make a major new show focusing on two female prison officers working in an all-male jail.

Rob Williams previously created The Victim - which starred James Harkness, Kelly Macdonald and John Hannah - with STV Studios. Picture: BBC/STV/Mark Mainz/Matthew Burlem
Rob Williams previously created The Victim - which starred James Harkness, Kelly Macdonald and John Hannah - with STV Studios. Picture: BBC/STV/Mark Mainz/Matthew Burlem

Filming is due to get underway later this year on Screw, which has already been snapped up by Channel 4 for broadcast.

Writer Rob Williams was nominated for a BAFTA for last year's legal thriller The Victim, which starred Kelly Macdonald, James Harkness and John Hannah.

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The new show, which is set to be made in Scotland by STV’s production arm but set in an unnamed city, is billed as "an uncensored, terrifying and often darkly funny reality of life as an officer in an all-male prison in 21st century Britain.”

Rob Williams is joining forces with STV Studios to make new Channel 4 prison drama Screw.

The two central characters, new recruit Rose and senior officer Leigh, are said to both be harbouring secrets could be endanger careers and lives if they are discovered.

Williams, a former prison teacher, enjoyed huge success with The Victim, which STV Studios made for BBC One. The story saw Kelly Macdonald play a mother standing trial for attempted murder after being accused of posting the new identity of a man she believed was her son’s killer online.

STV Studios was also behind the hit dementia drama, Elizabeth Is Missing, which led to actress Glenda Jackson winning a BAFTA for her lead role as Maud.

Sarah Brown, creative director of drama at STV Studios, said: “Following our successful collaboration on The Victim, we’re thrilled to be teaming up again with the supremely talented Rob Williams to bring his latest series to the screen for Channel 4.

"I know audiences will fall in love with his funny, anarchic, memorable characters and be captivated once again by his brilliant storytelling.

"In Channel 4, we have the perfect partners to bring Rob’s bold and totally authentic portrayal of prison life to TV.”

A spokeswoman for Channel 4 said: “This is prison as never seen before - the uncensored, terrifying and often darkly funny reality of life as a prison officer in an all-male prison in 21st century Britain.

"At the head of our gang of embattled ‘screws’ is Leigh, a woman who has devoted her adult life to this prison and its troubled population.

"On a wing bursting at the seams, at the front line of a train-wreck of broken bureaucracy and short-term thinking, Leigh goes above and beyond for her prisoners.

"But Leigh has her own secrets and a past that if discovered, could cost much more than her job. Will mouthy young Rose, a new recruit with her own agenda, mark the end of the line for Leigh – or prove her unlikely saviour?

Williams: “Screw is a real passion for me. I’ve wanted to write about prisons ever since teaching in that environment in a former life. I’ve maintained close links since then and the idea has grown.

After the experience of working with Sarah Brown and her team at STV Studios on The Victim, I wouldn’t want to pursue a project that means so much to me with anybody else.

“There is so much more to prison and those who live and work there, than misery and violence - and I’m incredibly proud to be working with STV and Channel 4 to show this in Screw, alongside the authenticity inspired by my experiences as a civilian worker in various prisons."

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