A GRIPPING television series examining a controversial honeytrap set up to catch the suspect of a Colchester murder investigation will soon be hitting our screens.

Deceit, a Channel 4 drama produced by Story Films and written by Emilia di Girolamo, first started filming last December and is expected to be broadcast sometime within the coming months.

The four-part series has been directed by BAFTA award-winning director Niall MacCormick and boasts an assemble cast of familiar faces.

Niamh Algar, Sion Daniel Young, and Harry Treadaway, for example, will star alongside Eddie Marsan, Rochenda Sandall, and Nathaniel Martello-White.

The show is centred on the handling of the investigation into the murder of Colchester schoolgirl Rachel Nickell.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

She had attended Great Totham Primary School, before studying Colchester County High School for Girls.

She was at the girls’ grammar school between 1980 and 1985, before leaving to take A-levels at Colchester Institute.

Aged just 23 at the time of her horrific killing, Rachel was stabbed 49 times and sexually assaulted in front of son Alex Hanscombe, then aged two, while walking their dog on Wimbledon Common.

The 1992 attack shocked the country and was one of the UK’s most high-profile cold cases until paranoid schizophrenic Robert Napper, 42, eventually admitted manslaughter.

Before his conviction, Napper also went on to brutally murder Samantha Bisset and her four-year-old daughter Jazmine the year after killing Rachel.

The series will specifically look into a honeytrap which was set up by police officers in an attempt to catch a suspect they believed to have carried out the murder.

Examining the complicated and toxic sexual politics of the early 1990s and the police’s obsession with the wrong man, Deceit quickly enters a dysfunctional world.

It depicts lead actor Niamh Algar, star of The Virtues and Raised by Wolve, as a female undercover officer, called Lizzie James who is asked to become sexual bait for a suspected killer.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Caroline Hollick, head of Channel 4 Drama said: “I couldn’t think of a more phenomenally talented ensemble in order to shine a light on one of the most shocking stories in modern policing.

“The unique female perspective of Emilia’s extraordinary scripts, alongside the stellar performances of our cast, combined with Story Films’ trademark journalistic rigor create a truly sensitive, nuanced and incredibly powerful 4-part drama that we are incredibly proud of.”

Channel 4’s fictionalised retelling of the shocking events has been brought together using previously unheard audio, video and written materials.

It also includes scenes of verbatim dialogue, taking viewers behind the scenes of one of the UK’s most flawed and controversial police investigations.

As well as focusing on the honeytrap, Deceit will also explore how Lad Culture in the early ‘90s impacted feminism and opportunities for women.

In the show, for example, having growing up under Margaret Thatcher’s reign, Niamh’s character is determined to rise through the ranks.

This soon proves much harder to achieve than she first thought, but she soon becomes one of the very few female undercover officers to be deployed in covert operations.

Speaking previously, Caroline Hollick added: “It’s a privilege to be working with Niamh Algar, who is fast becoming an iconic star of the channel.”