Anna Maxwell-Martin will play an exorcist in ITV Encore’s new drama Midwinter of the Spirit.

The Bafta-winning actress, whose credits include Death Comes to Pemberley and The Bletchley Circle, will play single mother and country vicar Merrily Watkins, who raises eyebrows within her community and her own family by also carrying out exorcisms. However, her talents come to the fore when the police need her to help solve a murder that she believes is connected to satanists.

The three-part series, which is based on novels by Phil Rickman, co-stars David Threlfall as Merrily’s mentor Reverend Huw Owen, while former Downton Abbey actress Siobhan Finneran and Law & Order: UK’s Ben Bailey Smith also appear.

“Midwinter of the Spirit is a contemporary and edgy drama which draws upon dark, pagan forces which are intriguing and spiritually frightening,” said Steve November, ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning.

“We’re delighted to commission three episodes of a potentially returnable crime drama with a supernatural twist.”



Midwinter of the Spirit will begin filming in Hereford this month. No broadcast date has yet been announced.