The streets of Manchester are, once again, safe as the members of the Major Incident Team (MIT) of the Manchester Metropolitan Police have gotten the band back together and are returning for series five. Suranne Jones (A Touch of Cloth, Doctor Foster), who conceived of the original idea for Scott & Bailey with fellow actress Sally Lindsey, will return as DS Rachel Bailey along with Lesley Sharp (Afterlife) as Janet Scott and Lindsey as Rachel’s sister, Alison. Jones will also serve as executive producer alongside Nicola Shindler (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax).
Series 5, which has just begun filming in and around Oldham, Manchester, will be comprised of one, three-part special series featuring a single crime story. According to producers, the three-part format will allow the story to unfold with scale and ambition as the crime fighting duo of Scott & Bailey tackle one of the biggest and darkest cases they have ever had to face.
With DCI Gill Murray, played brilliantly by Amelia Bullmore now retired, the Syndicate 9 Murder Unit is confronted with a terrifying and sinister Internet crime investigation of epic proportions. Using her recent Vice authorization, Rachel accesses a disturbing world where people brag about committing murder and lay down the gauntlet for the next victim. A game of ruthless life or death daring develops, as Scott & Bailey investigate multiple killers with horrifying and everlasting consequences. They will be changed forever and the investigation will take a devastating toll on their private, professional and personal lives.
While they are in good company with the likes of Wallander, DCI Banks, Endeavour, Lewis, George Gently and, of course, Luther, I’ve always felt that Scott & Bailey was one of the most realistic and gripping police procedurals to come out of the UK. All you need to do is watch the series 3 final episode with the brilliant Nicola Walker (Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax, Unforgotten) holding DCI Murray at knifepoint for a pretty harrowing final car ride to understand just how gripping good telly can be. Written by Sally Wainwright (Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley), Scott & Bailey will return to ITV for a 5th series in 2016 with a public television broadcast in America not long after.