The Suspect on ITV: Release date, cast and plot of Aidan Turner thriller

Aidan Turner returns in this compelling ITV psychological thriller

Aidan Turner as Doctor Joe O'Loughlin in The Suspect on ITV
(Image credit: ITV/Future)

Everything you need to know about the new ITV crime-fiction thriller

ITV’s latest crime thriller The Suspect, sees the welcome return of Aidan Turner to our screens. Playing clinical psychologist Doctor Joe O'Loughlin, Turner takes the lead role in the new show revolving around an unsettling murder investigation. Set to deliver dizzying plot twists and turns, the intriguing premise is also likely to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, guessing until the end. We delve into the release date, cast and plot of this latest must-see.

Elsewhere on ITV, the second series of a much loved reboot returns in the form of Van der Valk filmed (opens in new tab) in this beloved European city. For further gripping crime drama this month, political cyber-crime thriller The Undeclared War (opens in new tab) starring Simon Pegg and Adrian Lester, has all the intrigue you need, and for a more light-hearted watch, Doc Martin is set to return for a final series (opens in new tab).

The Suspect on ITV: Release date 

ITV have confirmed that The Suspect will air sometime in August 2022. A specific date has not been announced as yet, but we'll keep you posted with updates when it's officially announced.  

The five-part drama comes from World Production - those behind stellar dramas Line of Duty (opens in new tab), Vigil (opens in new tab), and The Pembrokeshire Murders. Peter Barry (opens in new tab) has acted as screenwriter for the show, and James Strong (opens in new tab) is director. Jake Lushington (opens in new tab) acts as executive producer. 

The Suspect will air live on ITV and ITV Hub (opens in new tab). For those who miss the show live, it will also be available as a catch up option on ITV Hub, to watch at your leisure.  

The Suspect: Plot 

To the outside world, Doctor Joe O'Loughlin has it all - a devoted wife and daughter, and his own successful practice where he works as a clinical psychologist. He has a high profile with the media, and even a publishing deal. His profile is raised even higher when social media blows up over him rescuing a young patient preparing to jump from the tenth floor of the hospital where he works. Events take a turn when a young woman named Catherine is found in a shallow grave in a West London cemetery. Experienced officer DI Vincent Ruiz and his younger partner DS Riya Devi are assigned to investigate the case.

It is difficult to ascertain whether Catherine was murdered or took her own life. Doctor Joe's opinion is sought on the case, and he initially appears happy to help with profiling. However, known for risk-taking and rule-breaking, those involved in the investigation begin to wonder if Joe has something to hide. His strange behaviour could be put down to a recent diagnosis of the debilitating illness Parkinson’s Disease. Or, Joe could have a secret life where his work as a clinical psychologist has allowed him to develop a criminal mindset and he could be the murderer. Viewers will have to wait and see.

Aidan Turner as Doctor Joe O'Loughlin in The Suspect on ITV

(Image credit: ITV)

Is The Suspect based on a true story?

The Suspect isn’t based on a true story, but is instead based on a book of the same name by Michael Robotham. First published in 2004, the novel was the debut novel of the best-selling psychological thriller author.

Born in Australia, he began his career as a journalist. Leaving journalism behind in 1993, he worked as a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. 

Suspect was his first novel, and a partially completed first draft of it caused a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002. The novel went on to become a best-seller, translated into 25 different languages. Robotham has since completed 16 further novels. The character of Doctor Joseph O’Loughlin has featured in 8 of the novels, although they aren’t a series and can be read as standalone books. 

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The Suspect (Joseph O'Loughlin) by Michael Robotham £7.99 | Amazon (opens in new tab)

Read the best-selling psychological crime thriller now a major ITV series starring Aidan Turner.

The Suspect: ITV Cast 

  • Aidan Turner as Dr Joseph O’Loughlin 
  • Shaun Parkes as DI Ruiz 
  • Anjli Mohindra as DS Devi 
  • Adam James as Doctor Gerald “Jack” Owens 
  • Bobby Schofield as Bobby Moran 
  • Tom McKay as DJ 
  • Imogen Daines as Detective Wallis
  • Tara Lee as Catherine McCain 
  • Bronagh Waugh as Cara 
  • Angela Griffin as Melinda 
  • Uma Warner as Charlie O’Laughlin 
  • Sian Clifford in an unconfirmed role
  • Camilla Beeput in an unconfirmed role 

Speaking to the Radio Times (opens in new tab), DS Devi actress Anjli Mohindra spoke about preparing for her role. She said “I focused in on what it would feel like to be a woman dealing with a case like this – with the Sarah Everard case and Sabina Nessa… I mean, we all know how it feels to be a woman in this country or on this planet at the moment with things like that happening”.

Aidan Turner also needed to thoroughly research for his role as a newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patient. On meeting a patient suffering the illness who was a similar age to himself, he said “He's an amazing guy, we met up a few times. We talked endlessly about the details of how the medication makes him feel, what was it like in the early days? What were the first few weeks like? Do you remember them? Because I was talking to him about how reckless Joe might be, he said 'Absolutely. I didn't know what to do with myself’”.

SHAUN PARKES as Ruiz and ANJLI MOHINDRA as DS Riya Devi in The Suspect on ITV

(Image credit: ITV)

When was The Suspect filmed?

According to actor Benjamin May, filming of The Suspect commenced in September 2021. Although no precise wrap date has been given, it is thought that production took place throughout Autumn, finishing around November 2021.

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Actor Aidan Turner recently opened up on the filming for The Suspect - particularly the fear he felt when filming the first episode. He told Express.co.uk (opens in new tab) that the opening episode features a particularly challenging stunt that "was terrifying" since he's "not good with heights".

He added: "Those shrieks or whatever I'm doing in the scene are real. It was kind of scary, but it still felt very safe, which is great. I think it's a great introduction for the character too. And it's a great way to start."

Of the series as a whole director James Strong told BT.com (opens in new tab): “Peter Berry has written an utterly compelling set of scripts which had me gripped from the first page. The show will be a high-octane psychological thriller - full of brilliant twists and turns, but also a fascinating insight into the mind of a top psychologist.

He added “we have assembled a brilliant cast and with London as our backdrop, I’m extremely excited to bring The Suspect to the screen.”

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