For Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators, the Series 1 combination of exceptional audience feedback and widespread critical acclaim can only mean one thing. A second series, obviously. It didn’t hurt either that the series provided the biggest drama launch for the channel’s weekday schedules since Father Brown in 2013 in addition to securing a place in the top 10 of all BBC content on iPlayer during the series’ first week.
The newest daytime detective effort from Will Trotter, creator of Father Brown and The Coroner, throws together the unlikely pair of hardboiled private investigator Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton) with ex-hair dresser/people person turned private investigator trainee, Lu Shakespeare (Jo Joyner). The series, which premiered in February 2018 on BBC1, was screened on Day 2 of the 2018 BBC Showcase in Liverpool for possible broadcast on public television stations in the coming year.
Unfortunately, for Frank, going through life out of shape and low on cash is no way to run a business. Lu hires Frank to spy on her fiancé whom she thinks is having an affair. Fortunately, for Lu, it turns out her soon-to-be husband is not cheating on her. The bad news, however, is that he’s not who she thinks he is and he ends up murdered about an hour after the “I Do’s”. With Lu needing a new challenge after she helps Frank solve the murder, the two join forces and form an unlikely detective duo in Stratford-upon-Avon, where low-life criminals seem to go for high crime drama.
Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators looks to be another gem of a series from the mind palace of Trotter, who also heads the BBC Daytime Drama Department. You may not know the name but you certainly have seen his earlier contributions to both a highly successful BBC1 and public television drama output. The Coroner just completed two very popular seasons and Father Brown goes back into production in the coming months for series 7 which will air on public television stations in early 2019.
Speaking about series 2, Trotter said: “Series 2 will see Frank and Lu investigating kidnapped canines, locked room mysteries, dead ringers and doppelgängers, vice, fraud, extortion and identity theft. Our detectives will continue were they left putting the world to rights as they snoop and pry. More ado in Stratford-Upon-Avon.”
Series 2 is set to begin filming in September on location in Stratford-upon-Avon with a target transmission date of early 2019 on BBC1 daytime. If all goes to plan, look for Series 1 of Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators to be a part of the public television stations drama schedules in the not-too-distant future.