The Sister on ITV: When does the chilling murder drama start? Who is in the cast? Where is it filmed? All you need to know

Russell Tovey, Simon Ashley and Bertie Carvel star in this suspenseful four-part series with a mix of murder, ghosts and terrible secrets, coming to ITV in autumn 2020.

By Alex Fletcher Updated: 26 October 2020 - 11.07am
Drama Freeview

Russell Tovey

ITV

The Sister is going to be one of the must-watch dramas of the autumn with its mix of murder, ghosts and terrible secrets.

Starring Russell Tovey (Years and Years, Flesh and Blood) and written by Luther creator Neil Cross, The Sister looks perfectly timed for cosy evening viewing as the nights draw in this autumn.

Here is everything we know so far about the chilling new ITV series…

When is The Sister coming to ITV?

It is confirmed that four-part thriller The Sister, starts Monday, October 26th at 9pm on ITV and the ITV Hub.

Airing over four consecutive nights, it stars Russell Tovey, Bertie Carvel, Amrita Acharia and Nina Toussaint-White.

The full series box set comes to BritBox on November 26th.

What is The Sister about?

Russell Tovey in ITV thriller The Sister ITV

Russell Tovey stars as well-meaning but directionless Nathan, a man with a terrible secret he’s prayed would stay buried and for which he’s worked hard to make recompense.

Years into his new and devoted married life, Nathan is rocked to the core when Bob, an unwelcome face from his past played by Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster, Baghdad Central), turns up on his doorstep with shocking news.

His arrival triggers a series of catastrophic decisions which drive a tense and compelling narrative of psychological suspense, dread, love and possible redemption.

Russell Tovey said: “The Sister is going to challenge me as an actor more than I’ve ever been challenged before.

“As a web of lies, that he thought was dead and buried, comes back to haunt Nathan, he sinks deeper and deeper into the horror of the event that happened ten years ago.”

Neil Cross said: "Nathan, Bob and Holly have been with me for many years. I couldn’t be more excited to see them brought to life by Russell Tovey, Bertie Carvel and Amrita Acharia."

The Luther writer added:  “Our job is to make viewers want to sleep with the lights on. We’re looking forward to it.”

Bertie Carvel in The Sister ITV

The series is directed by Niall MacCormick, who previously worked on The Victim, The Durrells and Doctor Thorne.

How many episodes of The Sister are there?

The series includes four episodes, airing across a single week.

Episode 1 - Monday, October 26th at 9pm

Episode 2- Tuesday, October 27th at 9pm

Episode 3 - Wednesday, October 28th at 9pm

Episode 4 - Thursday, October 29th at 9pm

Watch The Sister if you liked…

Luther, Marchlands, The Secret of Crickley Hall, The Enfield Haunting, Requiem.

The Sister - First-look trailer

Where is The Sister filmed?

Russell Tovey in ITV thriller The Sister ITV

“We filmed most of The Sister around London," revealed Tovey.

"Some of the most challenging scenes were during two weeks of night shoots in the rain. The crew would probably say that was one of the hardest experiences of their whole careers.

It was really tough filming those scenes at night. This was a hard job. But it looks amazing on screen, so it was absolutely worth it. The rewards reaped from everybody’s hard work are was amazing and I cannot wait for people to see the show.”

Exec-producer Kate Harewood from Euston Films said: "Post-production during the Coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020 was another big challenge. Luckily we had finished filming in December 2019 but the subsequent post-production was very slow.

"We worried there would be compromises and indeed there was a big learning curve for everyone as we had to work out new ways of doing things, but we got there in the end with a lot of ingenuity from the team.

"Interestingly some of the things we thought were going to be massively difficult worked out very easily. We talked to others in the business and asked what they were doing and all learned from each other.

"It turns out actors can do things like ADR - re-recording dialogue - remotely if you deliver the equipment to their home and feed the director in on Zoom. It’s more time consuming and fiddly. But it’s do-able. From our point of view we were lucky we had finished filming and could work on delivering the show."

The Sister cast and characters

Nathan - Played by Russell Tovey

Incredibly likeable, but ordinary. ‘Everyman’ caught in an extraordinary situation. Nathan was once a bright-eyed young man about town, but has been forever changed by the events of one dark night, long ago. He has grown up to be measured, sensible, fearful: a shadow of his former self. He is determined to spend the rest of his life making things right.

Speaking about the role, Tovey said: "This was the most challenging job I have ever done as an actor. I wouldn’t classify myself as a method actor, but I do completely immerse myself into every character I play, which made it a rather hard job living with this guy for nine weeks.

Nathan was going through so much emotionally every day, including his anxiety and panic attacks as well as trying to be happy but never being fully content. Covering up something and just trying to exist while holding on to this secret was a real weight to bare.

"I am very proud of what we have done. The Sister is a unique show with its own surreal energy and dynamics. It is scary and dangerous."

Bob - Played by Bertie Carvel

Bertie Carvel in The Sister ITV

A provocateur. A decade earlier, Bob was an academic working on the fringes, a ‘paranormal expert’ who knew thatscience was on his side, even if mainstream academia viewed him as a sideshow. He was charming, energetic, knowledgeable, a relentless self-promoter.

Though he loved attention and enjoyed his minor celebrity, frequenting local media as a colourful ‘expert’, Bob longed for legitimacy. He was determined to prove the naysayers wrong, no matter what it took. And what it took was his sanity.

The Bob we meet at the beginning of the series is a very different creature. He is now isolated, unemployed, and living in a squalid basement flat. His laser focus has now turned to obsession, but that keen mind is still whirring, figuring how to get exactly what he wants. 

Describing the character, Carvel said: "Bob is described as a ‘shabby alley cat’ when he turns up at the door of Nathan.

"I feel like Bob is the past come to call. But it’s the past brought into the present. He looks like someone who has had a story. And even Nathan can see on first glance that Bob’s story has developed quite a few more chapters since he last saw him.

"Nathan opens his very smart front door to see a figure from his past. It’s almost as though Bob has carried the weight of all of those years since they last met a lot less successfully than Nathan seems to have done. Bob stands outside the normal adult world.”

Elise - Played by Simone Ashley

Simone Ashley in The Sister ITV

Vivacious, fun, young and carefree. She is the life of the party. Not one for moderation, she is the opposite of her sensible older sister. She dies brutally in the prime of her life and her loss continues to haunt the present.

Holly - Played by Amrita Acharia

In short, a good and lovely person. She is smart, funny, pragmatic, and genuine. Her sister’s mysterious disappearance changed her forever. She grew up, devoted herself to her family and community and to building a stable, solid middle-class life for herself. She still clings to the hope that Elise is alive and will come home one day.

Jacki - Played by Nina Toussaint-White

Nina Toussaint-White in The Sister ITV

Holly’s best friend and a detective on the Elise Fox investigation. She is protective, loyal, committed — and determined to find answers for Holly and her family. 

Where have you seen The Sister cast before?

Russell Tovey in ITV thriller The Sister ITV

Russell Tovey made his stage debut as part of the original company for Alan Bennett’s 2004 play The History Boys and reprised his role of ‘Rudge’ in the much-loved 2006 film adaptation.

On television, Russell was recently nominated for a 2020 Critic’s Choice Award for best supporting actor for his role in the critically acclaimed BBC / HBO Drama series Years and Years written by Russell T. Davies.

Russell appeared opposite Imelda Staunton and Stephen Rea in ITV’s Flesh and Blood, played the leading role of George Sands in the BBC’s fantasy comedy series Being Human with Aidan Turner and Claire Foy.

He also starred in BBC’s comedy television series Him and Her, where he went on to win the 2012 Royal Television Society Award (RTS) for Best Comedy Performance.

Bertie Carvel starred in critically acclaimed Channel 4 drama Baghdad Central, a crime thriller set during the US occupation of Iraq and two-part Agatha Christie adaptation The Pale Horse.

He is best known for his role in BBC One’s award-winning drama Doctor Foster.

Other roles include Channel 4’s one-off 90 minute political drama Coalition playing Nick Clegg, the BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell as Jonathan Strange and BBC One’s Sherlock and Doctor Who.

Amrita Acharia is best known for her leading role of Dr Ruby Walker in ITV’s hugely popular medical drama The Good Karma Hospital, which follows a British Asian NHS junior doctor who impulsively responds to an advert for medics to work at a public hospital in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Amrita’s first role in her year after graduating from drama school was as Irri, handmaiden to Daenerys Targaryen in the global phenomenon Game of Thrones.

Simone Ashley  appeared in Broadchurch alongside Oscar winner Olivia Colman well as the popular Strike series for BBC/HBO.

Simone has also appeared in box office and critically acclaimed hits such as Straight Outta Compton and Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.

In 2018, Simone landed the role of Olivia on the hugely successful Netflix series Sex Education.

Nina Toussaint-White was DS Louise Rayburn in the award-winning BBC series Bodyguard, and also in the lead role of Kate Hatfield in the social media infused sci-fi psychological drama The Feed (Amazon Prime Video). She has also featured in Emmerdale and Eastenders.

The Sister airs on four consecutive nights from Monday, October 26 on ITV and ITV Hub.

The full series box set comes to BritBox on November 26th.