Coming to BBC One this month is The Pact, a brand new thriller centred on a difficult moral dilemma. Airing on Monday, May 17, the six-part series sees four friends and brewery workers, Anna, Nancy, Louie, and Cat, bound by a secret after the body of their new boss is discovered in the woods — as you’d expect, their lives are never the same again. Starring Julie Hesmondhalgh and Laura Fraser, the thriller asks what really happened that night in the woods but, is The Pact based on a true story?
The Pact was penned by Doctor Who and Wentworth writer Pete McTighe and isn’t based on a true story (which, by the looks of the plot, is a good thing), but it will deal with some very realistic emotions and relationships. Also starring Eiry Thomas and Heledd Gwynn, the series will see the four women deal with the chain of events following their antagonistic boss’ unexpected death and the struggle to keep their weighty secret hidden.
In a statement released by BBC, McTighe revealed that he was heavily influenced by “female ensemble dramas” and was keen to write a “complex” female-led drama series. “After finishing a prison drama that ran for 8 years [Wentworth], I was craving something different – something just as characterful and surprising, but less claustrophobic and with its own strong identity,” he said.
For The Pact, McTighe promises an exciting thriller but also emphasises that the series is intended to go beyond that.
“The Pact is a show that explores secrets and their consequences,” he states. “Yes, it’s a thriller, with big twists and surprises, but first and foremost it’s a character piece – so it was important to me to take time to drill down into each of our key characters and properly explore the impact of a terrible moral dilemma on each one.”
The new series was filmed across various locations in Wales late last year, during much of the pandemic and the second lockdown, however, the series is set in a non-COVID world.
“It was also important to me that the show provided some relief from the pandemic we are all living through, but it didn’t feel right to ignore what we’ve all experienced this past year,” McTighe went on to explain.
He added: “So, our story is set slightly in the future, where most of the population is vaccinated and life is returning to ‘normal’ – but for our characters, the stress and anxiety of 2020 and the various lockdowns has cast a psychological shadow that informs some of their behaviour and decisions.”
The Pact airs on BBC One on Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m.