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Manhunt is a fact-based crime drama starring Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton, it begins with the discovery of a body on Twickenham Green and the subsequent hunt for a serial killer

Made in consultation with the victims’ families, three-part drama Manhunt sees Martin Clunes deliver a captivating performance as DCI Colin Sutton, the real-life inspector who led a painstaking investigation to put a serial killer behind bars.

It’s 2004 and the body of French student Amélie Delagrange has 
just been discovered on Twickenham Green.

As Colin and his team start to gather evidence, the press are already making links to other murders, including that of Millie Dowler.

While some scenes are sombre, the focus is on one man’s dogged determination to get justice, and will fascinate those who remember events unfolding in the news at the time.

Continues tomorrow at 9pm.

TV Times rating: *****

Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton in new drama Manhunt

Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton

Martin, 57, has previously told TV Times that he was reluctant to take on the role of detective in a crime drama, so we were intrigued when we heard he had signed up for the lead role in Manhunt.

Here he tells us what lies behind his change of heart…

You’ve avoided playing police officers in the past. What made you take on this role?

Well, this role is a huge departure for me, but it’s a story worth telling, the kind that comes along every now and again, but very seldom in my direction. I had resisted the offers of detective dramas because they don’t float my boat. I don’t want to play an officer who wears his best clothes to work and drives fast. Manhunt was so different. It’s not sensationalised and I was interested in the chance to play this man.

How did you prepare for the role?

As well as talking to Colin himself, I spent a day with Hampshire police to see how a murder squad operated. It was fascinating to see how it works; the energy and the urgency of it. The team worked through the night – pizzas would be brought in and there was camaraderie. Having grown up worrying about being caught with no tax on my moped, I saw the police in a certain way, but actually they’re doing it because they care, just like nurses and doctors.

I seriously had no idea how well it 
all worked; it was a massive eye-opener and it helped me immeasurably. I came 
out of the experience like a grateful parent stepping out 
of A&E when they’ve fixed your child’s collarbone. I thought, ‘Thank God for the police.’

Did you copy any of Colin’s mannerisms for the role?

I felt a responsibility to Colin and to the victims, but this isn’t an impersonation. I think I’d get hamstrung if I just tried 
to imitate Colin. 
You either go 
down the route 
of Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, with prosthetics and a photographic reproduction, or you don’t. I did use Colin’s real A-Z, though.