Director Marc Evans wasn’t previously familiar with the real-life crimes that were the basis for the three-part BritBox limited series “The Pembrokeshire Murders,” but he knew that county in Wales. “I have family there. Every summer holiday as a kid was spent there. It’s a beautiful part of the world,” he says. “And then to hear about this case that almost was a stain on that landscape, this unsolved thing that haunted the area for so long. I was immediately interested. And the further I got into the case, the more it seemed like such an extraordinary and strange story.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Evans above.
“The Pembrokeshire Murders” follows Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins (played by Luke Evans) in the mid-2000s as he reexamines two double murders from the 1980s and a sexual assault from the 1990s. The prime suspect in all three cases, John Cooper (Keith Allen), was imprisoned for lesser offenses because at the time they didn’t have the evidence to prosecute him for everything. So with Cooper about to be released, its a race against time to tie him to his worst crimes before he has a chance to kill again.
“It’s really a how-done-it from the police point of view,” Evans explains about this atypical take on the detective genre, which is usually about solving a crime but in this case is about confirming what you already suspect. It’s not enough to identify a killer, you also have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, so the series shows “the thoroughness and the diligence” it takes to put together a case with such high stakes. But even though it focuses on a dark chapter in Welsh history, Evans is also proud “to show the world Pembrokeshire … I’m very proud of that authenticity and very proud of the veracity of the piece.”
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