A still from the upcoming series. Virgin Media Television
On the box

Here's what we know about Darklands, the new 'ultra-violent' gangland drama set in Bray

The show is written by Cardboard Gangsters writer Mark O’Connor.

VIRGIN MEDIA’S NEW gangland crime drama set in Bray, Co Wicklow will explore how young teenagers get dragged into crime, the show’s writer has said.

Cardboard Gangsters writer Mark O’Connor is behind Darklands, a new six-part series which will air on the broadcaster this autumn.

The show explores the allure of the financial rewards from crime against the violence inherent in the gangland world. 

O’Connor says he’s been working on it for a number of years. 

“The story is about a young 16-year-old kid in his last year of school whose brother Wesley goes missing,” he told this week. 

The brother is obviously involved in gangland and Damien, who is an amateur MMA fighter, wants to try to find out what happened to his brother. His family starts to breakdown and disintegrate over the brother being missing and Damien starts to hang out with the friends of his brother to try to find information about what happened on the night Wesley went missing.

“He slowly get sucked into this world. And it’s a slow change, a kind of a metamorphosis of a young school kid, and it shows how these young people can can get dragged in.”

The show is based and was shot in Bray and O’Connor says it gives it a bit of a different feel. 

He says other crime dramas like Narcos use their backdrop as a key part of the story and they’ve tried to do the same with Darklands, contrasting “big shots of the Sugarloaf mixed with the urban gitty stuff”.

A six-part crime drama about drugs based in the outskirts of Dublin is likely to get comparisons with RTÉ’s Love/Hate, but O’Connor says it’s closer to his 2010 film Between the Canals, which launched a few of that show’s stars. 

“I suppose because it’s the same genre it will automatically get a comparison, but really I’m just doing whatever comes to mind at the time. And when I did Between the Canals, a lot of the actors from it were brought into Love/Hate, like Peter Coonan and then Barry Keoghan.”

VMTV 14 O'Connor (second from right) with some of the show's stars. Brian McEvoy Brian McEvoy

Virgin Media’s director of content Bill Malone says its less like Love/Hate and more like another European-based crime series. 

“I would say it’s for me similar to things like Gomorrah, the Sky Italia thriller.

“It’s a real gritty crime drama and it’s got the young ultra-violence that’s coming through in gangland and ironically we’re seeing it in the real world here as well. That there’s a new breed of really violent young gangsters coming through and it’s to capture that world and how one kid is getting drawn into it.”

The date for the premiere of Darklands hasn’t yet set with Malone says the autumn schedule is still being finalised.

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