The Tower: Gemma Whelan stars in ITV adaptation of Kate London’s first novel

Killing Eve, Game of Thrones and Upstart Crow star Whelan brings detective Sarah Collins to life in a three-part drama based on London’s first Metropolitan story, Post Mortem.

By Katie Archer Published: 26 October 2021 - 12.35pm

Detective drama is a mainstay of ITV and this autumn, they’ve managed to offer viewers something fresh and exciting once again with The Tower.

The three-part series is adapted from Kate London’s novel Post Mortem, the first in her Metropolitan series, and features DS Sarah Collins who will be known and loved by London’s readers.

Here’s everything you need to know about the forthcoming drama, including who stars in it and when it’s on TV.

What is The Tower about?

Tim Flach

Fans of author Kate London, above, will know The Tower better as Post Mortem, the title of the first novel in her Metropolitan series.

No-one writes authentic detective dramas quite like London because she is a former Metropolitan Police Officer who, by the end of her career, worked on a Major Investigation Team on the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

She has said how the people she met and the things she saw in the police inspired her to write almost as soon as she had first donned the uniform.

“Within a matter of weeks [of joining the police] I was writing - not for publication, but because I just had to get down on paper the world I encountered: its complexity, laughter, loyalty, the moral conflicts and the dangers that were not only physical," she said.

“Policing showed me London in a way no other job could. The product of this experience was my first novel, Post Mortem.”

Tolga Akmen/Getty

The series opens on a veteran beat cop and a teenage girl falling to their deaths from the roof of a tower block in south east London.

Left behind on the roof and still alive are a five-year-old boy and rookie police officer Lizzie Griffiths - but within hours, Lizzie has disappeared.

DS Sarah Collins (played in The Tower by Gemma Whelan, above) leads the investigation into what took place on the roof and why two of the group died while the other two survived, but she must also track down Lizzie and bring her to safety to find out why they were up there in the first place.

When the truth is finally revealed, it will cast a shadow over Sarah and Lizzie’s lives as well as their working relationship.

Post Mortem has been adapted by screenwriter and producer Patrick Harbinson who is known for his work on Homeland, 24 and ER.

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The Tower cast

DS Sarah Collins - Played by Gemma Whelan


Gemma said of her character: "I loved this very morally strict woman who seems to be wedded to her job. It's very black and white in terms of what she thinks is right and wrong in the police force and the protocol.

"I found her vulnerabilities interesting and her strengths interesting, and also that she wasn't someone who was in the orbit of a man or trying to justify herself. She's very strong and sure of herself at work."

Where have you seen Gemma Whelan before?

Game of Thrones, White House Farm, Gentleman Jack, Upstart Crow

Lizzie Adama - Played by Tahirah Sharif


Tahirah said of Lizzie: "You're drip-fed bits of her personal life and her personality traits. 

"This is probably the first time in her life she's had to make a really difficult decision and try to navigate that grey area between what's right and what's wrong."

Where have you seen Tahirah Sharif before?

The Haunting of Bly Manor, A Christmas Prince, Waterloo Road

DI Kieran Shaw - Played by Emmett J Scanlan


Emmett revealed: "On a personal note, I'd come off the back of two jobs that were incredibly taxing both mentally and physically. The idea of doing The Tower and [playing] Kieran - he was confident, he was strong, he was flirtatious. He very rarely shows his vulnerability. I thought that was a much-needed therapy for me. It was a very welcome change to the previous nine months." 

Where have you seen Emmett J Scanlan before?

Peaky Blinders, The Fall, Hollyoaks

DC Steve Bradshaw - Played by Jimmy Akingbola


Jimmy said of Steve: "He's got quite a laid-back quality but hs'e very sharp and smart and very strategic."

Where have you seen Jimmy Akingbola before?

Holby City, Cheat, Arrow

Farah Mehenni - Played by Lola Elsokari


Where have you seen Lola Elsokari before?

This is Lola's first major TV role.

Younes Mehenni - Played by Nabil Elouahabi


Where have you seen Nabil Elouahabi before?

EastEnders, Top Boy, The Night Of

DCI Tim Bailie - Played by Karl Davies


Where have you seen Karl Davies before?

Emmerdale, Kingdom, Chernobyl

The Tower trailer

You can watch the trailer for The Tower here:

When is The Tower on TV?

The Tower will be shown across three consecutive nights on November 8, 9 and 10. Each episode begins at 9pm on ITV.