ITV says new series The Bletchley Circle is a murder-mystery based on the skills of the women who worked as code-breakers in World War Two.

Set in 1951, The Bletchley Circle centres around four women who are shaken out of their state of post-war complacency by the unsolved murders of two women. They use the skills the developed during the war to track down the killer.

BAFTA winner Anna Maxwell Martin (pictured) stars as housewife Susan, who spots a previously unnoticed pattern of behaviour linking the deaths and sets out to crack the code and catch the killer.

In the face of police scepticism, Susan enlists the help of her former Bletchley friends, bohemian Millie (Rachael Stirling), Lucy (played by RADA graduate Sophie Rundle), and no-nonsense Jean (Julie Graham).

ITV commissioning spokeswoman Laura Mackie said that the three-part series ‘combines a vivid portrait of post-war Britain with a taut and original thriller’.

She added that she was ‘delighted that we’ve attracted such a strong cast to bring it to life’.

Producer Jake Lushington said: “The Bletchley Circle is about what might have been. Despite the era they have come through, women like Susan and Millie have the capacity, the ideas and the ability to process evidence and crack a murder case. In many ways it is a form of police profiling which was way ahead of its time”.

Filming on The Bletchley Circle starts on location in London at the end of April.