Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 15:08 UK

Outhwaite to star in sci-fi drama

Tamzin Outhwaite
Outhwaite, 38, played Mel Owen on EastEnders from 1998 to 2002

Former EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite is to play a detective leading a force investigating crimes committed in the future in a new BBC series.

Paradox, a drama commission from BBC Northern Ireland for BBC One, begins filming in Manchester in June.

Its lead director will be Simon Cellan Jones, whose previous successes include landmark 1996 drama Our Friends in the North and the recent Generation Kill.

The director promised the show would be "an electrifying white knuckle ride".

'Bold idea'

He said the series "will leave the audience asking themselves dark, complicated questions about fate, the future and who controls it."

Paradox is written by Lizzie Mickery, a former actress who adapted John Buchan's The 39 Steps for the BBC last year.

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, called the show "a fresh spin on the crime genre" built around "a fantastically bold idea".

Production company Clerkenwell Films previously made supernatural drama Afterlife for ITV1 and the 2007 adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion starring Rupert Penry-Jones.

It is about to start work on Misfits, a comedy drama series for digital channel E4 about teenagers who develop strange superpowers.

Since leaving EastEnders in 2002, Outhwaite has appeared in BBC dramas Red Cap and Hotel Babylon.

She has also been seen in ITV dramas Vital Signs and The Fixer and had a small role in Woody Allen film Cassandra's Dream.

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