Thorne (TV series)

Last updated

Genre Crime drama
Created by Mark Billingham
Written by
  • Dudi Appleton
  • Jim Keeble
Directed by
  • Stephen Hopkins
  • Benjamin Ross
Composer(s)Laurent Eyquem
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Dudi Appleton
  • Mark Billingham
  • Stephen Hopkins
  • Patrick Irwin
  • Jim Keeble
  • Huw Kennair-Jones
  • Paul Morrissey
  • Daniel Proulx
  • Lorraine Richard
  • Justin Thomson
  • Greg Dummett
  • Jolyon Symonds
  • Joel Ransom
  • Pierre Jodoin
  • John Smith
  • Gaétan Huot
  • Paul Knight
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)87 Films
DistributorContentFilm International
Original network Sky One
Picture format 16:9 (1080i)
Audio format Stereo
Original release10 October (2010-10-10) 
14 November 2010 (2010-11-14)

Thorne is a British television crime drama series, based on the novels of author Mark Billingham, that first broadcast on Sky One on 10 October 2010. [1] A single six-episode series, starring David Morrissey in the title role of Detective Inspector Tom Thorne, broadcast at 21:00 on Sundays until 14 November. [1] As well as Morrissey, the series also stars Aidan Gillen, Eddie Marsan, O-T Fagbenle and Lorraine Ashbourne in supporting roles. [1] The series comprises two three-part dramatisations of the first two Thorne novels, Sleepyhead and Scaredycat. Sleepyhead, directed by Stephen Hopkins, previewed in full at the BFI Southbank in London on 4 October 2010, followed by a Q&A session featuring writer Mark Billingham and actors David Morrissey and Eddie Marsan. [2]

Television Telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.

Mark Billingham English actor and writer

Mark Philip David Billingham is an English novelist, actor, television screenwriter and comedian whose series of "Tom Thorne" crime novels are best-sellers in that particular genre.

Sky One is a British pay television channel operated and owned by Sky, a division of Comcast, available in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Although directly adapted from the novels, there are many notable differences in the series, including; Brigstocke's sex has been changed; Dave Holland's ethnicity has been changed; and Phil Hendricks is portrayed as a short, partly tattooed Irishman with a full head of hair, a juxtaposition of the tall, bald, heavily pierced, heavily tattooed Mancunian described in Billingham's novels. In the United States, Encore broadcast all six episodes of the series across two nights. Sleepyhead and Scaredycat aired on 12 and 13 June 2012 respectively. [3] The series is also available as a complete box set on Netflix. [3] All six episodes were released on Region 2 DVD and Blu-Ray on 10 January 2011.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.7 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Netflix Internet video streaming and DVD-by-mail service with original and licensed content

Netflix, Inc. is an American media-services provider and production company headquartered in Los Gatos, California, founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. The company's primary business is its subscription-based streaming service which offers online streaming of a library of films and television programs, including those produced in-house. As of April 2019, Netflix had over 148 million paid subscriptions worldwide, including 60 million in the United States, and over 154 million subscriptions total including free trials. It is available worldwide except in mainland China, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Crimea. The company also has offices in the Netherlands, Brazil, India, Japan, and South Korea. Netflix is a member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).


Prior to filming, Morrissey commented on how he became involved with the role: "I was doing a film in New Zealand, on my own, in winter. I really needed a book. I stumbled across a Thorne novel, liked it, and then I looked up Mark online and found a question-and-answer session where he said that if his books ever made it to the screen, he’d like me to play the lead. I thought, that’s a good start". [4] The first two novels adapted for the series were Sleepyhead, in which Thorne has to track down and stop a serial killer who aims to leave his victims alive but unable to communicate because of locked-in syndrome; and Scaredy Cat, in which two serial killers, Martin Palmer and Stuart Nicklin, begin to work in tandem to pick off their victims.

Locked-in syndrome nervous system disease that is characterized by complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except for the ones that control the movements of the eyes

Locked-in syndrome (LIS), also known as pseudocoma, is a condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for vertical eye movements and blinking. The individual is conscious and sufficiently intact cognitively to be able to communicate with eye movements. The EEG is normal in locked-in syndrome. Total locked-in syndrome, or completely locked-in state (CLIS), is a version of locked-in syndrome wherein the eyes are paralyzed as well. Fred Plum and Jerome Posner coined the term for this disorder in 1966.

Billingham later expressed a desire to film all ten Thorne novels. [4] Likewise, Morrissey confirmed in February 2011 that a second series had gone into production. [5] However, in a newsletter issued to members of his mailing list in December 2012, Billingham stated that Morrissey's role in The Walking Dead had suspended plans for any further series. [6] To date, no further series of Thorne have been produced.

The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series for AMC based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The series features a large ensemble cast as survivors of a zombie apocalypse, trying to stay alive under near-constant threat of attacks from the mindless zombies, colloquially known as "walkers". However, with the fall of humanity, these survivors also face conflict from other living survivors who have formed groups and communities with their own sets of laws and morals, often leading to hostile conflict between the human communities. Andrew Lincoln played the series's lead character, Rick Grimes, until his departure during the ninth season. Other long-standing cast members have included Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, and Danai Gurira.


The series primarily faced competition from Downton Abbey , Single Father and a re-run of The Da Vinci Code on its debut broadcast, although held a 1.5% audience share, drawing in 402,000 viewers, according to BARB. [7] Likewise, reviews of the series have been positive, and it holds a score of 74/100 on review aggregation website Metacritic. Tom Sutcliffe of The Independent wrote approvingly of the direction of director Stephen Hopkins, "who keeps using his camera to catch Thorne from incriminating angles, as if he's a perpetrator not a policeman", and the performances of Morrissey and McElhone. [8]

<i>Downton Abbey</i> British historical drama television series

Downton Abbey is a British historical period drama television series set in the early 20th century, created and co-written by Julian Fellowes. The series first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom on 26 September 2010, and in the United States on PBS, which supported production of the series as part of its Masterpiece Classic anthology, on 9 January 2011.

Single Father is a four-episode 2010 BBC television drama centred on Dave, a photographer attempting to look after his children as a single father after the death of his partner, Rita, in a road traffic accident. The series also explores the complicated and growing romance between Dave and Rita's best friend, Sarah. The series began airing on BBC One on 10 October 2010 at a 9pm timeslot, with 5 million viewers. BBC has no plans for a second series of the show.

<i>The Da Vinci Code</i> (film) 2006 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard

The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman, and based on Dan Brown's 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. The first in the Robert Langdon film series, the film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany. In the film, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. In the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. A noted British Grail historian named Sir Leigh Teabing tells them that the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci's wall painting, The Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wish to keep the true Grail a secret to prevent the destruction of Christianity.

Andrea Mullaney of The Scotsman , praised the efforts made by BSkyB in the production and casting, but added "it's a shame that our best actors can't be used for anything more radical or real." [9] Adam Sweeting of The Arts Desk wrote a more scathing review, commenting; "Despite the hype, it's just another cop show full of corpses, but Morrissey feels authentic as the phlegmatic, low-key Thorne". He also criticised the romantic link between Morrissey and McElhone, writing; "It was like Vinnie Jones getting off with Joanna Lumley". [10]

<i>The Scotsman</i> British national daily newspaper

The Scotsman is a Scottish compact newspaper and daily news website headquartered in Edinburgh. First established as a radical political paper in 1817, it began daily publication in 1855 and remained a broadsheet until August 2004. Its parent company, JPIMedia, also publishes the Edinburgh Evening News. It had an audited print circulation of 16,349 for July to December 2018. Its website,, had an average of 138,000 unique visitors a day as of 2017. The title celebrated its bicentenary on 25 January 2017.

Vinnie Jones British actor and former professional footballer

Vincent Peter Jones is an English actor, singer and former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1984 to 1999, notably for Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Wales.

Joanna Lumley English actress and former model

Joanna Lamond Lumley, is an English actress,comedian, former model, author, television producer and activist. She won two BAFTA TV Awards for her role as Patsy Stone in the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012), and was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the Broadway revival of La Bête. In 2013, she received the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards and in 2017, she was honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship award.



Scaredy Cat


EpisodeTitleWritten byDirected byOriginal airdateViewers
1"Sleepyhead — Episode 1"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleStephen Hopkins10 October 2010 (2010-10-10)0.65
Three women are found murdered, their killer having induced them into having strokes. A fourth victim is still alive, and might be able to identify her assailant, except that she cannot communicate as she has been left with locked-in syndrome. Investigating, DI Tom Thorne concludes that it was the killer's intention to leave his victims incapacitated, not dead.
2"Sleepyhead — Episode 2"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleStephen Hopkins17 October 2010 (2010-10-17)0.66
Thorne is forced to conduct his investigation alone when Tughan dismisses his "locked-in" theory. He and Anne Coburn try to help Alison Willetts communicate. A woman who claims to have escaped the killer is attacked.
3"Sleepyhead — Episode 3"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleStephen Hopkins24 October 2010 (2010-10-24)0.75
Thorne confronts Phil Hendricks and accuses him of murdering the three girls fifteen years ago.
4"Scaredy Cat — Episode 1"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleBenjamin Ross31 October 2010 (2010-10-31)0.72
Two women have been murdered simultaneously near St Pancras station, but in quite different ways. When the connection is made with two other murders, months before but on the same day, DI Thorne realises that two serial killers are at work in a macabre partnership.
5"Scaredy Cat — Episode 2"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleBenjamin Ross7 November 2010 (2010-11-07)0.66
One of the killers is caught after a failed attempt on the life of the son of another victim. He confesses to his crimes, but refuses to identify his partner. Thorne decides to free him in an attempt to force the other killer to come forward.
6"Scaredy Cat — Episode 3"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleBenjamin Ross14 November 2010 (2010-11-14)0.56
Palmer escapes from police custody and he and Nicklin resume their series of murders. DS Chen, desperate to prove herself, risks everything to catch the pair.

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  1. 1 2 3 The Guardian , 9 October 2010, The weekend's TV highlights
  2. BFI, 4 October 2010, TV preview: thorne: sleepyhead + Q&A
  3. 1 2 "Encore Press Release" (PDF). Encore. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  4. 1 2 Ed Cumming, 8 October 2010, The Daily Telegraph , David Morrissey on Thorne: a British copper, in a US style
  5. BBC , 4 February 2011, South Riding – David Morrissey is Robert Carne
  6. "Mark Billingham's Newsletter". December 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  7. The Guardian , 11 October 2010, TV ratings
  8. Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent , 11 October 2010, The Weekend's TV
  9. Andrea Murray, The Scotsman , 12 October 2010, TV review: Thorne: Sleepyhead
  10. Sweeting, Adam (11 October 2010). "Single Father, BBC One / Thorne: Sleepyhead, Sky1". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 14 February 2017.