Summer is over but with it comes a batch of brand new TV shows to look forward to. One of which is Sky's 'Temple', a darkly comic new thriller starring Mark Strong that is set to have pulses racing this autumn.
Adapted by Irish playwright and screenwriter Mark O'Rowe ('Intermission', 'Boy A') from the critically acclaimed Norwegian TV Series 'Valkyrien', 'Temple' follows the goings of an underground London clinic which literally and metaphorically becomes part of the city's criminal underworld. Strong stars as respected surgeon Daniel who goes rogue after his wife (Catherine McCormack) falls ill and conventional options for treatment can't help.
'Temple' wastes no time in throwing you straight into the action with its opening episode. Due to how the series plays around with time, when we first meet Daniel the underground clinic is very much up and running but how and why he got to that point is only teased throughout the opening episodes. Daniel finds himself getting further engrossed in a life of crime due to the nature of his clinic, which attracts an interesting mismatch of people.
This adds to a lot of the dark humour of the show, which Mark O'Rowe excels at as you'll know if you have watched the likes of 'Intermission'. There is also no judgement put on these diverse characters, and although they may be morally questionable, you'll still end up rooting for them.
Carice van Houten ('Game of Thrones') also stars as Anna who is a fellow doctor, friend and ex of Daniel. She finds herself getting more and more embroiled in Daniel's world as the stakes grow higher and higher. Daniel Mays ('Line of Duty') stars as Lee Simmons, Daniel's partner-in-crime, so to speak, with the two forming an unlikely alliance.
The good-guy-turned-bad angle is something we have seen plenty of on our screens in recent years with the rise of the antihero, and Mark Strong is the perfect casting choice to convey the many sides of Daniel Milton. You'll have most recently seen Strong as the villain in 'Shazam!' and he has also had leading roles in the Kingsman movies, on top of a thirty-year career in the business. He is the type of consistently good actor that could really do with a great character to flesh out properly and that's exactly what he has got to do with 'Temple'.
Speaking about his role, Strong, who is also credited as an executive producer, said, "Daniel is so conflicted with such strange stuff happening to him. It’s compelling to find an individual you can inhabit on many different levels and tell a story through".
Mark's wife Liza Marshall also serves as an executive producer on 'Temple' with the couple immediately seeking the rights to adapt it after binge-watching 'Valkyrien'. "He [Mark] came with me to Oslo to convince the team that we should have the format", Liza said. "It was also his idea to call it 'Temple'. He's been totally involved from the start, and it’s the first time he’s executive produced a show."
Liza had worked with Mark O'Rowe on 'Boy A' in 2007 and had been hoping to do a project with him again. "Mark has a singular and unique voice and while the original series had some dark humour in it, Mark’s humour really comes out in 'Temple', Liza added.
Speaking about the show, O' Rowe said, "What I liked was the black humour of it, mixed with the emotional darkness. The idea of balancing those two was very attractive to me. It felt like something that could have a very distinctive tone compared to a lot of other things we see on television."
'Temple' may be a thriller with a dark sense of humour but there is also a love story at the heart of it. The opening episode comes with a cliffhanger that will leave you hankering for more, and you can get it too.
All eight episodes of ‘Temple’ will be available on Sky from September 13.
Don't miss it.