The Drowning: Plot, cast, filming locations and everything you need to know about the Jill Halfpenny drama

In this gripping thriller, Jill Halfpenny stars as a mother who is convinced she’s found her missing son after nine years.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 22 January 2021 - 2.36pm
Drama Freeview

Jill Halfpenny

Unstoppable Film & Television The cast of The Drowning

What would you do if you saw your son who’d been missing and presumed dead for nine years?

That’s the premise of Channel 5’s new identity drama, The Drowning. The four episodes focus on Jodie, who follows a boy she’s convinced is her son - who went missing as a four-year-old.

Jill Halfpenny, who stars as Jodie, said: “Jodie does become somewhat erratic, but her intention becomes clearer. She is so sure of what she is doing and why she is doing it and that Daniel is her son.”

Find out who’s in the cast and how to watch this gripping new show…

What’s The Drowning about?

Jill Halfpenny in The Drowning Unstoppable Film & Television

The Drowning focuses on Jodie, who has been rebuilding her life since losing her son nine years ago.

However, she’s convinced that she’s found her missing son and the relative stability she had worked towards begins to unravel. She continues on a dangerous path which takes her to the edge of reason: how far will she go?

Who’s in the cast?

Jonas Armstrong in The Drowning Unstoppable Film & Television

Jill Halfpenny stars as Jodie alongside Jonas Armstrong, who plays her dependable brother Jason.

Deborah Findley plays Lynn, the mother that Jodie has a fractious relationship with.

Rupert Penry-Jones and Cody Molko in The Drowning Unstoppable Film & Television

Cody Molka plays Daniel, the boy Jodie has become fixated with, and Daniel’s father Mark is played by Rupert Penry-Jones.

Jodie’s friend and partner Yasmin is played by Jade Anouka and Babs Olusanmokun plays Ade.

Executive producer Jason Maza said: “We knew we had a fantastic script, so we really wanted a show that felt like we were getting premium talent on the screen.

“I have been a fan of Jill Halfpenny’s for a long time, the work she has done has been consistently brilliant, but I do think her performance in this has blown away all of us. She goes on such a journey and so I think this is up there with her best performances.

“And then with Rupert Penry-Jones I had actually worked with years ago on Silk for the BBC and he has been off in America but he is such a good actor.

“With Jonas Armstrong, again he is someone I have admired for many years and he was so good in The Bay last year and I really wanted to work with him, he was our first choice and we were lucky that the people we wanted said yes.”

Where was it filmed?

The Drowning was filmed in Dublin and the surrounding areas, including Lough Dan, the location for the lake scenes.

Maza explained that filming in Ireland rather than England was ideal for the show.

“We wanted locations that people may not have seen before and that needs beautiful architecture, incredible vistas and Dublin offered all of that," he said.

"It gave us the opportunity to really push the cinematic boundaries, which we would have struggled to achieve with the resources and time we had in England.

“Some of the practical challenges were huge. We do a lot of filming with and in water which is exciting and fun but also tough because we did shoot in Lough Dan, which is the lake in Ireland. You’ve never seen a lake so big, it is absolutely ginormous and it is incredible to see it on camera.”

The filming of the show was hit by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but cast and crew were able to reconvene after the first lockdown and get it completed.

Jill Halfpenny and Cody Molko in The Drowning Unstoppable Film & Television

Halfpenny said the break in shooting presented its own challenges.

“There was a six-month break and a few weeks into the second shoot, the director told me she was really nervous about the first day, because she wondered ‘How is Jill going to just drop into Jodie having not done it for six months, is it going to be weird and is she going to look different?’", the former soap star and Strictly champion explained.

“I had to go to Ireland two weeks before to isolate so I had that time to think about her again and to go over lines again. It was easier than you think but it all did feel really strange.

“All that work everyone put in… we were just heads down, praying we got it done before they announced another lockdown. Which they did. So at the end of the shoot we were so relieved.”

The Drowning trailer

You can watch the official trailer for this tense thriller here:

How to watch The Drowning

The Drowning airs Monday to Thursday at 9pm from February 1 on Channel 5, and you can catch up on My5.

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