Six-part BBC1 TV Series

(Six 60-minute episodes)

director.gif (905 bytes)Richard Laxton


Stellan Skarsgård - John River
Lesley Manville - Chrissie Read
Nicola Walker - Jackie (Stevie) Stevenson
Eddie Marsan - Thomas Cream
Georgina Rich - Rosa Fallows
Sorcha Cusack - Bridie Stevenson
Steve Nicolson - Jimmy Stevenson
Owen Teale - Marcus Mackenzie
Turlough Convery - Frankie Stevenson
Adeel Akhtar - Ira King

UK Premiere: October 13, 2015


John River is a brilliant police officer whose genius and fault-line is the fragility of his mind - a man haunted by the murder victims whose cases he must lay to rest. A man who must walk a professional tightrope between a pathology so extreme he risks permanent dismissal, and a healthy state of mind that would cure him of his gift.

button_box.gif (205 bytes) PRODUCTION NOTES:

Filmed in East London in autumn 2014.

Writer Abi Morgan: "Actors are agents of change. They carry the vision of an entire creative team. A show like River needs broad shoulders and I can't think of anyone better than Stellan Skarsgård to take on this challenge and lead this brilliant cast."

Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of Kudos: "I can’t tell you how chuffed we are at Kudos to have been able to assemble such a magnificent group of actors led by the extraordinary Stellan Skarsgård, all attracted by the quality of Abi’s script."

Lucy Richer, Executive Producer for the BBC: "We’re thrilled to have such a fantastic cast joining Stellan Skarsgård and I know that they, along with Abi Morgan’s incredible script, will make River an unmissable series."

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC1: "River is full of intriguing twists and turns and I was truly gripped when the script came in. Abi's one of Britain's most distinctive and original storytellers and her ability to push the boundaries of the genre in surprising ways makes River her perfect debut on BBC One."

button_box.gif (205 bytes) STELLAN DISCUSSES THE SERIES: Crimiere and BBC Blog.

button_box.gif (205 bytes) IMAGES:

button_box.gif (205 bytes) PRAISE FOR STELLAN:

"River is played by the extraordinarily expressive Stellan Skarsgård, a man with a face like sun-softened butter who can switch from dark depression to humour-laden empathy with just the twitch of an eyelid... The presence of Stellan Skarsgård ensures that River is unlike any other TV crime drama."  ...Gerard Donovan, The Telegraph

"River continues to be a entertaining drama, with the clever writing of Abi Morgan and sensational acting from Stellan Skarsgård, allowing this to be mesmerizing on so many levels. Add in the various mysteries along with the original murder case itself, and we get a narrative rich in various subplots.  ...John McCubbin, Snap Pow

"Stellan Skarsgård gives a tremendous, compelling performance as River, embodying a man broken in his grief, tormented by his manifests, and determined to find his colleague and friend’s killer, in every inch of his 6’3? frame — from his deep, sad gaze, to his slumped-over posture. As written by Morgan, River is an enigmatic, empathetic, and sympathetic character, and as played by Skarsgård, a man we feel for and root for, yet still wonder about.    ...The British TV Place

"The Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård is superb as River, a British detective... The show’s premise could easily have made this a silly enterprise, but with Mr. Skarsgård’s tight performance anchoring things, it instead is a first-rate psychological study."   ...Ny Times

"With Stellan Skarsgård and Nicola Walker playing the two main roles, and Abi Morgan (The Hour, Sex Traffic) taking care of the script, I expected something brilliant, what I got was something superb."  ...I Talk Telly

"Skarsgård lifts the show out of the mundane with an affecting, impassioned performance and there are few better actresses currently working on British TV than former Spooks star Nicola Walker."   ...Starburst magazine

"Skarsgård holds your attention, the way he always does."  ...Phil Robinson, Square Eyed TV

"At its core is a beautiful performance by Stellan Skarsgård as the broken John River. Emotionally resonant, poignantly sad and yet endearing, he really makes you feel every word he says, clearly sinking in his own loss."  ...Dale Cowan, Cultbox

"Stellan Skarsgård produces another hefty role in a CV forged by rank misery, with this one set up to explore big-hitting subjects such as mental illness, guilt and grief. His overall performance is aided and abetted by a wonderful face seemingly etched with innumerable traumas and tragedies in the line of River’s duty." ...Brian Donaldson, The List

"John River is played by the brilliant Swedish star Stellan Skarsgård."  ...Pat Stacey, Independent

"The Swedish import brings so much gravitas to the role that he probably had to book an extra seat for it on the plane over."   ...Louisa Mellor, Den of Geek