New BBC drama Bloodlands aired last night - here’s who stars in the cast

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 2:39 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd February 2021, 2:39 pm

BBC One’s new crime drama Bloodlands has gripped the nation.

The much-anticipated thriller aired on Sunday (21 February) evening.

Set in Northern Ireland and starring James Nesbitt, the mini-series was produced by Line of Duty writer Jed Mercurio.

So what’s the new drama about, who stars in it alongside Nesbitt - and how can you watch it?

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Bloodlands about?

Critics have been raving about the BBC One series since the first episode dropped.

Nesbitt plays the lead detective, Tom Brannick, who connects a vehicle to that of a serial killer known only as Goliath.

The legendary murderer went on a killing spree two decades earlier but it is now a cold case.

DCI Brannick starts to hunt for the assassin due to the case having “enormous personal significance” for him.

The gritty series has been described by Mercurio as "a compelling cat-and-mouse thriller led by a riveting performance from James Nesbitt and a thought-provoking drama exploring the balance between seeking justice for past crimes and protecting present-day peace".

A synopsis for the series reads: "When a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough, DCI Tom Brannick quickly connects it to an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance.

"Bloodlands follows his dogged hunt for a legendary assassin, an explosive cat-and-mouse game where the stakes have never been higher."

Who is in the cast of Bloodlands?

James Nesbitt as Tom Brannick

Nesbitt plays the lead role of DCI Tom Brannick, who hunts the serial killer who killed four people twenty years earlier.

The actor is known for featuring in Cold Feet, The Missing and Murphy’s Law.

Speaking about the new series, Nesbitt said: “It is a classic Jed Mercurio thriller, where you're not really sure what's going on, with many different stories interwoven into it."

Charlene McKenna as Niamh McGovern

DS Niamh McGovern is the straight-talking detective who works alongside Brannick.

Despite his initial hesitations to reopen the case, she pushes Brannick to further investigate Goliath.

Played by Charlene McKenna, viewers will recognise the actress from Ripper Street and Vienna Blood.

McKenna said about her character: "She is at times hard to read, and she reveals very little about her personal life.

"Her cogs are always turning and she is like a bloodhound, very instinctive. She is incredibly bright, and the fact that she is already a DS and a woman at such a relatively young age is an incredible feat."

Lisa Dwan as Tori Matthews

Dwan is doctor Tori Matthews, who teaches DCI Brannick’s daughter at medical college.

Her expertise helps with the re-investigation into Goliath.

"Tori Matthews is a bright and friendly doctor who has returned to Belfast after living several years abroad to look after her ailing mother,” Dwan said when asked about the role.

"She begins teaching at Queen’s University, where she runs into Tom’s daughter. She is smart, inquisitive and resourceful with a painful past.”

Dwan is known for her roles in Top Boy and American TV show Trust.

Lorcan Cranitch as Jackie Twomey

Jackie Twomey has worked in the police for the entirety of his career, and he was part of the team who investigated the original Goliath case.

Lorcan Cranitch’s character is reluctant for Brannick to start hunting the murderer again.

Cranitch himself has starred in BBC’s Parnell and the Englishwoman, as well ITV’s Cracker.

Ian McElhinney as Adam Cory

Ian McElhinney plays the brother of one of Goliath’s victims.

Brannick and McGovern visit Adam to obtain more information about the serial killer.

Fans will recognise McElhinney from Game of Thrones where he played Barristan Selmy.

He’s also known for his role as Granda Joe in Derry Girls and Morgan Monroe in The Fall.

Lola Petticrew as Izzy Brannick

Playing DSI Brannick’s medicine student daughter, Izzy, Lola Petticrew has appeared in other shows like Come Home and My Left Nut.

She will also appear in the upcoming period drama Anne Boleyn.

Who else is in the cast?

Other cast members of Bloodlands include: Chris Walley as Billy 'Birdy' Bird, Michael Smiley as Dinger, Kathy Kiera Clarke as Claire Keenan, Susan Lynch as Heather Pentland, Peter Ballance as Pat Keenan, Asan N’Jie as Larry, Cara Kelly as Siobhan Harkin and Flora Montgomery as Superintendent McAllister.

When is Bloodlands on TV?

The series started on Sunday 21 February at 9pm on BBC One.

It’s a four-parter, so the next episode will air on the same day and time next week.

It can also be live-streamed on BBC iPlayer or watched on the app a few hours after it airs.

Episode one is available to watch on iPlayer now.